Keith Punch interview, 30 August 2012

Dublin Core


Keith Punch interview, 30 August 2012




This is an interview with Professor Keith Punch, who was a student at the university from 1957 to 1963 and returned to the staff of the Faculty of Education in 1970. He looks at the great sense of community that he experienced firstly as student and also as a staff member. He was a successful cricketer at the university and at a state level. He recalls some of the many changes to the university that he has seen over the last 50 years. Included in his memories are the lost sense of academic community at UWA and the pressures placed on academics by changes to bureaucracy and the growing corporatisation of the university.
He looks at significant changes to the Faculty of Education. He was heavily involved in the University’s transnational studies programmes and he talks about his role in university interactions and opportunities in Hong Kong and Singapore. He looks at his work in Hong Kong in the Master’s Education Programme in 1995 and coursework in the Master’s programme taught overseas. He also discusses his research, writing and teaching in the field of research methods.


Punch, Keith


University of Western Australia Historical Society


Copyright holder University of Western Australia


MP3 files


Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


John Bannister


Keith Punch


Perth, W.A.


Interview 1: 46 minutes, 48 seconds
Interview 2: 20 minutes, 12 minutes
Interview 3: 54 minutes, 44 seconds
Total: 2 hours, 1 minute, 44 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbs

Time Summary

Track 1
00:00:00 Early schooling Perth Modern School and initial impressions of UWA. 1960 and the Arts degree. Studying languages. Introduction to UWA from cricket involvement and success. University Cricket Club team of the century.
00:08:30 Initial impressions of the University in the late 1950s. No induction. Bewildering experiences. Memories of early university days.
00:11:40 Community of learning. Cricket. Memories of the removal of cricket from the university on James Oval. Memories of the social life, cross-fertilisation and socialisation. Direction for career. Bonded to the Education Department. Memories of the WACA and the French Club. Terminating honours in French. Memories of a salutary experience.
00:17:50 Learning lessons from Bert Priest. Becoming a teacher in local schools. Reporting to Northam Senior High School and studying as an external student. Winning the prize for best student in Economics 100. Winning a prize without doing lectures.
00:22:16 Wanting to hang around universities. Wanting to do a PhD and applying for a scholarship. Winning scholarships to Harvard, England and Canada. Bert Priest is influential and gives advice. The old world and the new world. Going to Toronto.
00:24:30 Experiences of heading overseas. Brilliantly prepared by UWA to work in North America. Very good foundations from UWA. Discussions with Robertson head of education about future career. Working as a school teacher at Hollywood High School and working in Toronto. Coming back to UWA in 1970.
00:28:58 Funny story of coming back to Perth. Applying for Bert Anderson’s job. Two years becomes forty one years. Impressions of coming back to work in 1970. Changes in the 1970s. Bert Priest and changes to the faculty. Social science research. Memories of the university house and the mix of the community and academic at UWA. Corporatisation of the university.
00:37:20 Moving the Faculty of Education off campus. Memories of Shenton House and the faculty and the annex. The Reid Library building. The Nedlands campus. Psychological distance. The pressure of work and the Department of Classics put on lunches.
00:39:50 Non-existent international reputation of the university. Experiences of acceptance in other universities. UWA arts degree compared to other world universities. Current reputation. Memories of senior lecturer. The quality of student at UWA. Research training. Carrying a huge work and supervision load. CUHK. Research and a research university. Doctoral study. Students supervised go on to successful academic careers. Changes.

Track 2
00:00:00 Research methods training. Sociology of education. The demand for training grows and student numbers swell. Demand for research training workshops in Indonesia. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods. Research world divided down the middle. Quantitative and qualitative researchers. Paradigm wars. Lack of text books for the course work. Writing a book for courses on research. Sage Publications. Encouragement by Sage Books. Starting a writing program.
00:04:30 Concentrating on research methods. The growth and reputation of UWA. UWA was a professional training school. Numbers and quality of the students. Things that universities are concerned about today. Internationalisation of the University today. Review done in 1994 in the Graduate School of Education. The School was not in great shape. Recommendations of the review. Budget was a mess. Looking offshore for transnational programs. Interesting opportunities in Hong Kong and Singapore. Working in Hong Kong in Master’s education program in 1995. Course work Masters program taught overseas.
00:08:50 Programmes grow to be big and profitable. Singapore and degrees offshore. D.E.D. Doctoral Education Degree. Programs going strong overseas. Director of international programs from 1995 to 2010. Financial life-blood for UWA.
00:11:16 Interfaculty relations. Educational Management school. Sports science. David Andrich and others associated with other schools. Stand-alone faculty. Alan Robson and interfaculty absorption. Staying as a one school faculty. Merging with the Graduate School of Management. School of Professional Studies.
00:16:04 The university and its contribution to learning and community. Reaching out into the community with the Festival of Perth and a public university. An arrogant institution. The university as a large and complex organisation. A wonderful location. Alan Robson and good relations with government. Publicising the university.

Track 3
00:00:00 Training teachers and researchers. Higher degree students. Major changes for graduates. Research methods studies. World-wide debate success and academics prejudices. Forums and open debates. Methodological questions. More concerned with research training from the 1980s. Getting into strife with the university.
00:06:00 Supervision of students. PhD students. Complementary methodological partnership approach. Mature age students doing master or doctoral degrees. Designing studies and researching studies. Supervision of research students. Being led into writing from research.
00:09:40 Chinese University of Hong Kong C.U.H.K transnational interactions of the university. Singapore’s Wah Chong Institution and the Master’s programme. Lesley Lisovich. Graduates on the staff and teachers with doctoral degrees in Singapore. Popularity of UWA for international students. Advantages and rankings. One-on-one institutional interactions.
00:17:15 Staff training as a spin off for writing. Allan Walker and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Working on supervision and career planning and the success of the work at C.U.H.K. Learning about benefits for UWA and the international student. Supporting students whose first language is a foreign language.
00:24:00 Important people associated with the development of UWA. Bert Priest. Memories of Peter Tannock, John Hattie, Michael Scriven, Col Sanders and David Andrich. UWA and the competition of academic field. Graduate school. Graduates from school and the training of teachers. Higher degree programs. UWA leading the way. UWA has largest doctoral student numbers in WA.
00:32:00 Advantages of UWA and teachers in the industry. Present-day business of publishing. Personal involvements at Notre Dame University. Notre Dame and its location within the city of Fremantle. Older European universities. Peter Tannock. Comparisons to UWA campus. Taking pride in the building of a university.
00:37:00 Discussions and process of writing – Introductions to social research and research methods. Writing series. Introduction for research methods for education. Advice for the teacher. Writing and teaching and the growth of the university. Strategic decisions for the university. Corporatized university. Intellectual environment and the administration.
00:49:30 Business administration at the university over the past 40 years. Not involved with the higher councils of the university. Views and memories of Alan Robson. Looking back at an extremely lucky career.



Punch, Keith, “Keith Punch interview, 30 August 2012,” UWA Historical Society: UWA Histories, accessed July 13, 2024,