In recent years, a number of higher education policy changes and reforms have been proposed and implemented by the governmental authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore. Policy changes and reforms mainly focus on the aspects of finance, provision, regulation and ownership of higher education institutions in the two societies. Quality assurance, performance indicators, managerial efficiency, value for money, marketability and public accountability have become the core values for introducing higher education reforms in the two city-states. With the rise of a more utilitarian and service-oriented view of public institutions, including universities and other higher education institutions, the core principles of public sector reform also apply to the current reforms of higher education. Managerialism, economic rationalism, academic capitalism have emerged as the three core concepts of public management in relation to the higher education sector. Comparing the higher education policies and reforms in Hong Kong and Singapore, it is argued that the means and outcomes of various policy changes and reforms differ significantly from each other. In addition, the relationships between the state or government and universities have been changed significantly in terms of governance and financial matters. This article will shed some lights on the impacts of the recent higher education reforms on universities and the academic profession in the two cities and the ways that the future development of the university sector is affected by those reforms and policy changes.