This presentation reports the initial findings of a study that examines university governance in relation to the institutional and cultural settings of the higher education systems of three Chinese societies – Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The research employs a mixed-method strategy that consists of semi-structured interviews and a small-scale survey. The qualitative part of the research sought to explain the coordination mechanism in university governance through an analysis of data generated from 57 interviews. Evidences collected from the interviews revealed the interactions and relationships amongst the various actors on governance matters, and constructed a taxonomy of institutional balance of power in the higher education systems of the three Chinese societies. The qualitative research also generated 12 situations of governance matters in relation to cultural hybridity, informed by corresponding theoretical components. The small-scale survey, in which 261 manager-academics from the three societies rated the 12 scenarios of cultural hybridity in terms of their realism and acceptableness, then captured cultural differences in handling governance matters in the three higher education systems. This quantitative research reveals that Macau has greater acceptance of these cultural scenarios in comparison with Hong Kong and Taiwan. However, the figures show that most of these cultural situations are generally considered unacceptable, though their likelihood varies in the three places. These findings offers insights into the relationships between institutional forms and cultural features of higher education governance in the three societies. Copyright © 2020 CHER-Hong Kong.