Risk‐based regulation is a relatively new mode of governance. Not only does it offer a way of controlling institutions from the outside but it also provides the possibility of making an organisation’s achievements visible/visualisable. This paper comments on a list of possible risks that higher education institutions have to face. In a second step, it is discussed that a higher education institution changes when a framework of risk‐based regulation is adopted. The paper then illustrates how governance changes when the risk‐based regulation approach is transferred from a UK context to an overall European one with differing traditions of higher education.