UK: 'Mickey Mouse' degrees face funding battle

UK university departments offering so-called 'Mickey Mouse' degrees in subjects such as surf science, golf management and winemaking may face a greater battle for public money under proposals published by funding chiefs on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England, which distributes money for teaching and research to universities, said departments would have to show their work helps the economy and society if they want to secure the biggest grants.

"The Research Excellence Framework will recognise and reward excellent research and the sharing of new knowledge for the benefit of the economy and society," said David Sweeney, Hefce Director for Research, Innovation and Skills. "It will also ensure the effective allocation of public funds." The government's target to get half of all young people into higher education has in the past been criticised for dumbing down degrees and encouraging less academic courses on subjects such as the life of David Beckham.
Full report on the Reuters site