‘How universities and colleges work’ considers how the university and college actually work in terms of their structures, funding, governance, and management. Universities and colleges are complex operations trying to fulfil a multitude of potentially conflicting tasks and expectations, with a wide variety of demanding stakeholders. Despite facing numerous challenges today, universities and colleges continue to predominantly focus on teaching and research. Many also contribute, through consultancy and the exploitation of intellectual property, to their local economy, pursuing ‘civic engagement’. The balance of power or influence within the triangle of academic staff (faculty), managers (the executive), and lay-members (the trustees) varies greatly from one university and college to another.