The article details a comparative study of higher education policies in the U.S.A. and The Netherlands. The policies are similar in their attempt to centralize the governance of public higher education in state and national systems in an attempt to promote and maintain diversity. The authors examine the policies in the context of previous research on higher education and provide data that shed light on the growth of degree programmes within public universities. Findings show that public higher education systems in several U.S.A. states and The Netherlands have not grown less diverse over time. Other findings provide mixed support for the argument that centralization is an effective means of limiting homogeneous growth in public systems of higher education.