Higher education institutions are generally perceived as institutions which undertake the. responsibilities of meeting the society's demands for qualified people, enabling the transmission of culture from one generation to another and aiming to solve the problems of the society by means of scientific studies. Due to these important social responsibilities, universities, academies and other schools of higher education have always attracted the attention of the media and higher education problems have always been discussed in the public. The purpose of such discussions is to point out the expectations of the society and they sometimes resulted in attempts to change and reform the university systems. The first secular higher education institutions in the pre-republic period were founded in 1773. The higher education institutions established in the 18(th) and the 19(th) centuries also formed the basis of today's modern universities. Especially after the establishment of the Republic, higher education has undergone significant structural and administrative changes to fulfill its functions at the national and international levels as part of the general education system. First radical changes in the higher education system took place with the 1933 Reform Act. After that, reformation attempts proceeded with the acts enacted in 1946 and 1973. Last radical change in our higher education system took place with the 1,981 Reform Act. With the Law no. 2547, our higher education system was regulated based on the principle of integrity and a new content for the system was introduced. It can easily be said that higher education institutions in Turkey make a strenuous effort to fulfill their functions. However, it can also be said that these efforts are limited with the adequacy of other systems in the society. The aim of this paper is. to present a summary of the changes taken place in our higher education system in the pre and post Republic periods.