At first glance, the higher education sector may look to have embraced the challenges and pressures of moving towards a market system. However, there remain longer term issues that must be addressed if the higher education sector is to survive and ultimately prosper. This paper examines more closely the financial and legislative reforms implemented in the Russian Higher Education sector. It outlines the institutional and structural changes that have taken place in response to these changes, and the effect of the external environment on the sector. The implications for further reform and institutional change are also discussed. These issues are analysed within a framework of the New-Institutional approach to economic organisations. JEL Classification: I20, P21.