This paper identifies a number of strategies employed by policy actors in the production of Australian higher education entry policy during the period 1987 to 1996, with a particular focus on the production of Queensland higher education entry policy text in 1990 (Viviani, 1990, The Review of Tertiary Entrance in Queensland, 1990 , Department of Education, Queensland). The paper begins from the premise that while policy is often intended to be read as if spoken with a single voice, suggesting rational debate and (then) consensus among policy producers, it is more cogently understood as the product of struggle and conflict. Informed by 27 semi-structured interviews with politicians, political advisers, bureaucrats, academics, institutional administrators and independent authorities, the paper addresses the temporary settling of these actors' struggles and conflicts in contexts of policy making through strategies of negotiation. Rather than providing a sequential account of higher education policy that weaves its way through these negotiations, as grand narrative, the paper is more sporadic in its representations of strategies, identifying them in 'local' and specific knowledges and practices. Drawing on Foucault, what emerges is both an archaeology and genealogy of policy production (Gale, 2001, Journal of Education Policy , 16(5), pp. 379-393).