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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Mickey Mouse would never sink so low…

The famous cartoon mouse is far too busy making money for the Disney company to waste his time on a BSc in “Golf-Course Management” or “Decision-Making”. However, higher education minister Margaret Hodge has finally noticed the proliferation of ridiculously silly publically-funded university courses, identified them as “Mickey Mouse Degrees” and promised to solve the problem!

Even the Guardian can’t resist making fun:

“There are the apparent oxymorons – turfgrass science, amenity horticulture, surf and beach management and the BSc from Luton University in decision-making, which begs the cheap but irresistible observation, how did those on the course manage to make the decision to take it in the first place?”

But has New Labour got some right ideas for once? Have they finally decided that market forces and the education system should meet?

“…students themselves will ensure that what is offered by universities not just meets their aspirations but also meets labour market needs,” [Margaret Hodge] told a seminar in London organised by the Institute for Public Policy Research”

Well, no. Because actually, it shouldn’t actually be any of their business what universities do, because they shouldn’t be funding them in the first place, whereupon students would be obliged to be much more careful in their choice of how to spend their first three years after school than they are now. Perhaps some might even not go to university at all! But that would be a terrible blow to the government’s Ten-Year-Plan to keep as many young able-bodied people as possible well away from the workplace:

“The Government remained committed to its target of higher education for 50 per cent of under-30s by 2010.”

Actually, all the government is doing about their embarrassing joke-degree problem is trying to ban more things. This isn’t going to help. Anyone can ban things if they use enough coercion: but the real answer is to make those libertarian economic reforms and then just watch the students abandon ship as the daft degrees suffer a slow and painful death… Madonna studies, feminist ice-skating theory, cross-dressing, nail varnish and citizenship, and all their loyal leftie practitioners disappearing down the post-communist rabbit-hole once and for all.

But don’t hold your breath just yet. Not until you have a proper PhD in Underwater Oxygen Management first, at least.

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