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Austria has gone through two cycles of university reforms since the 1960s. The first aimed to open the universities to social and labour market demand and to make their structures more democratic and flexible. The second reform cycle dealt with glitches in the overly close relationship between universities and state bureaucracy. Bureaucrats still tightly controlled universities through line-budget funding and other forms of micro-management. This close dependency was abolished and university autonomy greatly strengthened when traditionally weak university leadership was replaced by a strong president and centralized administration, and by the creation of governing boards. The author argues that the second reform cycle was much influenced by Anglo Saxon models of university governance and constituted an almost total break with the traditional structures of Austrian universities.