‘Mickey Mouse’ uni degrees could be scrapped or lose their funding

These include any degrees with high drop-out rates or bad results

University degrees which fail to deliver for students could be scrapped, or even lose its funding, the watchdog Office for Students (OfS) have announced.

“Mickey Mouse” degrees is a term for university degree courses regarded as worthless or irrelevant and are essentially just a waste of money. One student even sued her uni for £61,000 after she graduated because her degree left her with so little opportunities.

Vice-chancellors will be warned by the OfS that they risk being hit with sanctions – including financial penalties – if their degrees fail to deliver for students. This includes a withdrawal of student loan funding from low-quality courses.

The OfS have said that degrees with high drop-out rates and low rates of graduate employment will be targeted first.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that almost eight in 10 graduates will never pay back their full student loan under the current tuition fees system.

The regulator will publish proposals this week which set out the series of “minimum requirements” they expect degree courses to meet in terms of student outcomes.

If courses are deemed to consistently fall below these requirements, then they could be barred from receiving student loan funding – which would most likely leave them unable to continue.

These changes could see many creative arts subjects scrapped, which apparently are most costly to the taxpayer – £35,000 each – since so few alumni earn enough money to pay back their student loan in full. This includes subjects like Music, Drama, Fine Art and Design Studies.

Of the £9 billion that the government spends on higher education each year, more than £1 billion is on creative arts courses alone, where three-quarters of the total amount given out in loans is picked up by the taxpayer, the IFS report from 2019 found.

A source at the OfS told The Telegraph: “Students need to know that wherever they choose to study, their course will be of high quality. It is therefore important to crack down on courses that are below par, and our new plans – to be published this week – will be setting out how we intend to do this.”

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