This paper is concerned with the way that governments plan and direct their tertiary education sectors. The term “governance” is used to describe all those structures, processes and activities that are involved in the planning and direction of the institutions and people working in tertiary education. It also looks at some aspects of the internal governance of institutions, but only to the extent that the state believes that it should be involved. This paper aims to summarize emerging alternatives to managing and financing educational institutions, seeking to provide those concerned with higher education policy with a concise summary of current developments in the management of tertiary systems. While the paper seeks to provide evidence of the global trends in the ways that such systems and institutions are planned, governed, and monitored, its coverage applies more systematically to the Commonwealth world than to other regions of the world, notably the francophone countries and Latin America. The scope is also limited to issues of strategy, funding, and governance, although some reference is made to assessing quality and institutional management.