This paper provides an overview of the incentives structure for higher education by focusing on the quality assurance and the institutional structure governing universities in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The institutional level analysis focuses on both the external and internal governance structures that regulate higher education institutions. Particular attention is paid to issues of accountability and quality assurance arrangements both at external and internal levels of universities. At the external level, the paper illustrates the role of the Higher Education Council and the Higher Education Accreditation Commission (HEAC). At the internal level, the paper looks at the role of boards of trustees and the different levels of councils. The analysis focuses on the scope of decision-making that each entity has. The paper specifically addresses the growing role of private higher education, presenting two are public and two are private. The two public universities are Jordan University (JU) and Mutah University (MU), and two private universities are Amman Al Ahllia University (AAU) and Jadara University (JU). The analysis in the case studies addresses issues of student size, specializations and quality assurance approaches.