Like many other countries around the world, Turkey has faced several challenges in expanding higher education (HE) opportunities to masses. Trying to meet the ever-growing demand for HE, Turkey has implemented a bold expansion plan by establishing 51 public universities (PUs) after 2006, mostly in less-developed regions of the country. This study aims to reveal the challenges of establishing new PUs and to shed light on how these challenges might be overcome. Based on interviews with 12 rectors who have served at the recently established PUs in Turkey, the findings of this study have revealed various academic and non-academic challenges. The findings have significant implications for developing new policies, especially for developing a new growth and quality strategy for HE not only in Turkey, but also in other countries that face similar expansion-related challenges.