The academic world in Victoria is in shock after its top universities drew the strongest dissatisfaction ratings from students in the federal government-commissioned 2020 Student Experience Survey.
In the survey, the University of Melbourne and Monash University “recorded the largest declines in students’ overall ratings of their education experience”, according to this Sydney Morning Herald report by Lisa Visentin.
Upon hearing this news, all of us at The MBA School Of MBA Credentials made a beeline to our campus bar to raise a toast of empathy to the students involved, whether they’ve been engaged in traditional studies (going back and forth to campus for consecutive years), or lighter, online short courses (and spending their days and nights watching videos and getting lost in Slack discussion threads).
Those precious few hours of earnest discussion and countless rounds of special toasts, led to our desire to do something tangible.
Given that I am heading to Melbourne on April 10, it was decided that we would hold the world’s first Qualification Swap.
What is a Qualification Swap and how do I apply?
Our innovative Qualification Swap arose from some late night, human-centred, design drinking, which is something we do often to unlock ideas from the subconscious.
As a result, if you have credentials from one of five Victorian universities I am personally inviting you to meet me in Melbourne in April, and I will upgrade your certificate to one of our sought-after MBA Degrees.
Although University of Melbourne and Monash University were the institutions in the headlines, my faculty agreed that where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so that’s why we’re including all student, past and present from :
- The University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- RMIT University
- Deakin University
- La Trobe University
If you have anything from a doctorate to an online, short course, qualification from any of these institutions, bring your certificate and I will swap it for one of our satin-finished, MBA Degrees, ready for framing.
Why am I doing this? Well, there are three reasons.
Post purchase dissonance can wreak havoc on reputations
In a spirit of collegiality, we are stepping in to protect these institutions from what is called “post purchase dissonance”.
As Hitesh Bhasin explains eloquently in an article on Marketing91:
Post Purchase Dissonance is when the customer’s state of the mind and perception is quite uneasy after purchasing the product or service offering of the brand. This results in the customer either regretting the brand or in returning the product back from where [they] purchased.
This student survey shows there is much of this dissonance going on and many students are deeply regretting their interactions with their schools.
So, to make sure these august institutions are not permanently damaged by this state of mind, we applied MBA Thinking and determined that if these disgruntled students could swap their qualifications with something untarnished by dissatisfaction, it will lift their spirits and in time they’ll be more likely to reconsider returning to their former universities.
RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning needs a refresh
It has been mentioned that our Qualification Swap might be likened to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), in which a student with study accomplishments elsewhere, or life/work experience, has their history applied as credit to lessen the amount of coursework they need to do at a new institution.
You might think of RPL as playing a game of Monopoly at one friend’s house, but pocketing some of the money to then use when a Monopoly board is brought out at another friend’s house.
However, the whole area of RPL is fraught with tension and reluctance, with many institutions only begrudgingly applying credit because it means they miss out on tuition fees, etc.
According to Leesa Wheelahan, from the School of Social Science, at Southern Cross University, in the paper, Recognition of prior learning and the problem of ‘graduateness’, this reticence is often disguised or explained away as a strongly held belief by Faculty Heads that students who get RPL granted, (we might describe them as essentially jumping a number of spaces like landing on a ladder in Snakes and Ladders), don’t graduate with the same level of “graduateness” as those students who have toiled and laboured through boring lectures, haphazard and unfair group assignments, and tedious coursework.
In other words, according to some of those who are required to hand out RPL credits, these academic queue jumpers (my term, not hers) lack ‘something’ that other graduates have.
This is why our Qualification Swap should be embraced by such stilted and stale institutions.
For example, we can take a 6-week certificate in Design Thinking for Innovation and transmogrify it into a Master of Business Administration.
This doesn’t hurt the original institution, but it does give us a sense of purpose as we arm their students with the power and prestige that comes from having an MBA*.
Happenstance: I will be in Melbourne
And, finally, because I will be at a special education facility called The Rubber Chicken, which is being promoted by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, it means I can meet these students in person to conduct our Qualification Swap.
On a personal note, I applaud the comedy festival for embracing an academic and letting me expose myself to its audiences.
I will be taking to the stage between 6.30pm and 8pm on Saturday, April 10, at The Rubber Chicken, 256 Moray Street, South Melbourne, to help lift audiences out of the swamp of ignorance and up to the plane of enlightenment. To do this, I shall share a few highlights from A Lunchtime MBA.
However, at 4pm, I will be at a table with an official MBA School Of MBA Credentials sharpie to sign MBA Degree certificates for any students wanting to undertake a Qualification Swap.
Please note: We have standards to maintain, so I will need to sight your certificate (the original document) and then burn it in the venue’s fireplace to ensure no double dipping. I know this is harsh, but we do NOT operate a degree mill!
To qualify for our Qualification Swap, use the sign up form for our occasional newsletter and explain your situation in the comment box. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Organisations run by Elon Musk will not consider an MBA favourably.
**Photo credit – background By Pollynolly – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0