This thesis explores the vicissitudes of state-higher education relationship with emphasis on the manner that the former has influenced the behaviour of the latter relative to the Ghanaian milieu from the provenance of higher education to current times. Theoretical and analytical constructs based on conceptual literature by non- African writers as well as a review of related literature penned by African writers, fairly balanced as they are; serve as rostrums on which findings are weighed. A blend of qualitative research methods –thematic interview, documentary analysis and open-ended questionnaire- serves as the valve in the quest for patterns of governance of system actors and structures relative to institutions of higher education in Ghana.
The findings subjected to critical analyses, reveal regarding the state, system agencies and institutions of higher education, inconsistencies in practice; institutional inertia; virtual power struggles; superficial if not nominal commitment in large terms to policy reform objectives and differing conceptions of the role higher education should play albeit successes chalked after the Tertiary Education Reforms in 1991. Suggestions are made in making the raison d'être of the higher education system in Ghana meaningful.