The Cassells report “Investing in National Ambition: a Strategy for Funding Higher Education,” creates an opportunity to explore critical issues in Ireland’s higher education sector. This paper excavates behind the report for discourse, agency, power, influence and environmental factors, to come to understand the assumptions made in the document. A document is always situated within a social setting and context. By considering this setting we attempt to unearth the dominant educational discourses in the document. Some of these discourses are obvious and substantial, others are muted and unrevealed. This paper provides insights to assist educators to develop new understandings of the ways in which policy documents are used in the context of the Cassells report.
NOTE: The authors are currently registered on the Doctorate of Education Programme at Maynooth University with the Department of Higher and Adult Education. They would like to acknowledge the support of Professor Anne Ryan and Dr. Bernie Grummell at Maynooth University where the foundations for this paper began.