The case of Central and Eastern European Countries – especially Poland – invites us to reconsider the temporal and political aspects of the reconfiguration of Higher Education with regard to austerity measures. The financial crisis of 2007/2008 cannot be viewed as the main trigger of this sector’s redesign, for two main reasons. First, the Polish economy has not been hit by this economic turmoil as hard as some West European countries. Secondly, the structural austerity measures which have affected the country’s public sector followed the 1989 fall of the Communist regime and the ‘shock therapy’ implemented by the first democratic governments. These neo-liberal policy measures set up in the beginning of the 1990s have led to a far-reaching privatisation of Higher Education. Still, 2007 appears as a caesura, as the new liberal government undertook several important measures to reform the Higher Education systems in the name of competitiveness, diversification and excellence.