Corporate governance models are becoming more prevalent in many universities, despite concerns over the effects of corporate practices on the identity of universities as a unique institutional field. In Westminster university systems, governance practices have become highly professionalized along corporate lines, not least to ensure a good fit with the necessary regulatory regimes for a marketized university system. Examples of Australian practices are provided to illustrate the governance dynamics, as both Western and Chinese corporate governance practices will affect the culture of Chinese universities, despite the continuance of deeply-inscribed State influence. Professionalization of governance in Australia has brought benefits but also generated some ‘blind spots’ to sustaining the longer-term features of successful universities. Stronger academic governance could provide a counterweight, yet the relationship between corporate governance and academic governance is not yet as well-defined as it needs to become.