The quotes above encapsulate something of the dilemma of higher education development in Southeast Asia. While all of the five states treated in this article (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) share the goal of increasing access to higher education as part of their wider social and economic development goals, none are in a position to provide public higher education to all who aspire to it. Hence, private higher education is growing swiftly, sharpening problems in governance systems within a sector that is, in several cases, already stretched to capacity.