The growth in e-learning and other distance modes of delivery in the higher education sector, the explosion in borderless higher education and the marketisation of higher education, pose a challenge to the traditionally characteristic structures of decision making and consensual leadership in Higher Education. The paper seeks to examine if there is significant difference between leadership in the traditional Higher Education (HE) environment and leadership in the virtual HE environment by examining the framework of leadership models taken from the business literature - transformational and transactional leadership as well as the newer forms of leadership models such as servant leadership and distributed leadership. The models are applied to the case of an emerging virtual arm of a traditional university. The analysis suggests that the virtual higher education institution requires a complex repertoire of leadership skills and abilities but the process of leadership strongly suggests a dispersed or distributed approach.