The borough-council-backed Coventry University Scarborough Campus and Scarborough University Technical College (UTC) will be built on the Weaponness coach and car park.
Both applications require further approval from The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, but the council does not anticipate the decision to be called in.
More than 100 people objected to the plans but councillors felt the opportunity outweighed the short-term disruption of construction.
Cllr Hazel Lynskey said: “I feel for the residents and understand there are many older people there. But I am an older person myself, and I feel I have a duty to ensure that our younger generation access to the best education possible here in Scarborough.”
Professor Craig Gaskell, Provost of Coventry University Scarborough Campus, said: “We are very pleased at the decision of the committee and will now be progressing the project.
“The students we recruit this September will move to the brand new building in their second year of study in September 2016.
“We believe our new University campus will have a transformational economic and social impact enhancing the education, skills and career prospects of local people for many years to come.
“We are also aware, however, that the development has to be handled with sensitivity and with respect for and in consultation with those residents that live closest to the site.
“We will keep local people, businesses and other stakeholders informed as our plans move forward and we look forward to being integral to Scarborough for the long term.”
UTC principal Tim Englefield, said: “In the next five years Scarborough will suffer a shortfall of around 2,000 engineering qualified workers.
“Our aim is to fulfil the need for industry-ready engineers.
“We will provide local employment and bring investment to the local area of around £10 million.”
Between them, the two establishments will provide opportunities for approximately 2,000 students from the age of 14.
The UTC is backed by businesses including Plaxtons, McCain, Unison, Dalby Offshore and Dale Power Solutions.