In the context of globalization and internationalization, several common development trends and challenges have emerged in higher education systems around the world. These will have an impact on the individual university governance structures. Since the international university network gets an increasing importance and several university functions are shared within that network, it is crucial to take the international context into account when reshaping the university governance structure. Although several publications are dedicated to the countrywide or regional governance principles in the EU member states, it is often impossible to assimilate these global descriptions to the individual governance structure of a particular university. In this paper, we conduct case studies on five Chinese universities and five European universities from the perspective of governance structure, from four dimensions of the internal democratic nature, the external involvement, the level of centralization of decision-making authority, and the level of individual responsibility. This study analyzes the differences and commonalities between both. Chinese universities have a unified governance structure that is statutory based on the “President Responsibility System” in which the university’s party committee is officially designated to play the core role of leading the university. EU universities are more diversified in their governance principles, and each of them has its own unique features. To achieve better and deeper cooperation and collaboration between EU and Chinese universities, it is critical to understand and acknowledge these differences. Future research can add more dimensions and factors to broaden the scope of the analysis.