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In the 1970s, social scientists coined the term "credentialism". It is an ideology that puts formal education credentials above other ways of understanding human potential and ability.
Credentialism is again entering the higher education debate as academics and the wider public try to make sense of the current university system.
While these issues are important to debate, they ignore the fundamental value of credentials in the workplace.
The concept of credentialism can be a type of class prejudice.
We need to ensure that university is more than a rite of passage coming together in a piece of paper. It is the role of the academic profession and higher education institutions to shape worthwhile learning. However, higher education is vulnerable to abuse without regulation, such as buying fake nursing degrees that can lead to tragic outcomes. A formal qualification should be a representation of something more important.
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