Higher education has become a mega-topic in both political and scientific debate. Developments in systems of higher education and changes in the governance of this field have been discussed in the literature. Such changes are brought about by collective actors within institutional settings. The present volume directs attention at Social Democratic governments in Sweden and in Germany, specifically in North-Rhine Westphalia in the latter case, and at the policies of higher education they have enacted from the mid-1960s to the year 2000. The empirical basis for this study is a qualitative analysis of such policy documents as inaugural speeches, governmental bills and recommendations of expert groups. The focus of the policies has shifted during the decades that were analysed from an input- to an output-orientation and from addressing issues of class to addressing those of gender segregation. These shifts are discussed against the background of a governmentís need for legitimation and the impact of intermediate actors on policy development.