The author analyses the risks of the Ukrainian higher school with the application of the theoretical methods such as analysis, comparison, classification and synthesis of scientific literature and regulatory documents. In particular, the article focuses on the risks that may threaten the goal-achieving probability and realizationof the Ukrainian higher school development strategy. Risk classification is made in the context of providing quality of the educational services, consumed by the government, society, university, business and individual. The risks of external and internal environment of the higher education sector, influencing the strategic development of university, are identified. The external risks are beyond the influence of university, so they are difficult to be identified, controlled and managed. The internal risks arise from the events within university and depend on the risk subjects (university structure, the staff, the students, the faculties, the departments). No only external and internal risks, but also their interdependence is considered specifically. Among the key risks of the higher school are the following: economic slowdown, poor governance, damage to brand or reputation, an inadequate staff recruitment, a low enrollment rate, bad experience of the students, a low quality of teaching and research, inadequate technical support. In Ukraine risk management is a new direction in the management practice of universities and the higher education management research. We can identify the following features of its development: low awareness of risk management, risk culture, actions on how to eliminate or minimize risks, among the university staff and administration; a lack of risk management infrastructure in higher education (institutions, tools, techniques); a lack of regulatory support from the government; unavailability of methodological recommendations on the introduction of risk management; significantly different risk profiles ( the ratio of different kinds) of the Ukrainian and the UK universities and the motivation for the introduction of risk management. The further research should focus on the possibility to use the experience and best practice of the UK universities under the issue being studied in Ukraine. The British model of managing risk is a good source of reference for the Ukrainian higher school that is considering developing a similar framework.