As globalization has become the focal point of higher education, competition has become a central preoccupation. Competition is closely connected with a global free-market economy. Combined with the impact of globalization and the development of the global “knowledge economy“, these competitive forces have resulted in the global competition phenomenon that is currently reshaping higher education. Many developments characterise global competition in higher education. This article discusses some of these developments, including (1) the rise of global university rankings, (2) declarations by nations to have a world-class university, (3) the development of regional units of control and reform, (4) the development of cross-border quality assessment practices, and (5) the internationalization of universities.