Qualification or disqualification?

I said earlier that some degrees are disqualifications. What does this mean?

I have worked in many universities (and equivalents) as a staff member. Also, as a science writer, I have worked in research organisations intimately partnered with universities, so that everyone works on the same big team at multiple locations. In the most recent case, this meant working with six different universities at the same time. Separately, and again as a science writer, for nearly 30 years I have been in regular contact with senior researchers, most of whom work in universities.

Thus I know a lot more about what goes on in them and similar schools than students ever do. I know more than many university senior executives. I sometimes criticise universities, but actually I adore them. Every time I go home to Canberra, I wander around ANU campus just soaking up the atmosphere. It recharges me. Universities should be thrilling and wonderful places, and many truly are. When they’re good, I love their vibe, and everything else about them.

However, some other aspects of certain universities are extremely ugly and sinister. This is not for public discussion, or at least not yet.

Whether you get the thrilling stuff, the ugly stuff, or some mundane mixture of the two, depends on the school. As everyone knows, some are sublime, others are mostly garbage, whereas most fall in the middle somewhere. Most people do not know which is which.

Knowing what I do, the names of certain institutions, or of specific courses, on a job applicant’s CV are red flags. Applicants displaying them go straight into the reject pile.

Students believe they have received a qualification that will open doors for them. In a few cases, what they receive does the exact opposite. It prevents them being considered for what they want. Instead of a qualification, they have received a disqualification.

This adds something to what I said earlier about the sometimes questionable value of certain degrees. In a few particular cases, there’s no question, and those degrees are plainly worthless. I feel sorry for those students, it’s not their fault. They were cheated.

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