How do you fancy an outdoor adventure with Philosophy? How about some fashion buying? Some Aromatherapy and Therapeutic Bodywork? A bit of lifestyle management? Not got a clue what I'm on about? Believe it or not you can do all these things and get a degree at the end of it. The Tax Payers' Alliance and Burning Our Money have identified the most ridiculous "Mickey Mouse" degrees that you can do - all funded by the tax payer. At £40m a year.
The TPA has identified 401 courses at 91 institutions which should not be classed as "academic", as they taught practical skills better left to the workplace. But I wonder why they haven't left it to the workplace? Probably because universities make good money out students and so will offer them pretty much anything to go to them. Secondly, it seems today that unless you have a degree in something, anything, you are completely unemployable. But what a waste of time and money to insist on having a degree if they are as pointless as "cricket coaching". A degree in cricket coaching? This may sound like a silly question, but what are you going to do with a degree in cricket coaching? Surely you're better playing the game and then learning a few skills that way. Is this country really so desperate for cricket coaches that we need to pay for people to get a degree in the subject first? Floristry design is another. What are you going to do with a degree in floristry? Surely working as florist is a more obvious and cheaper way of doing learning the ancient art of flower arranging? We can not be at the point now where not even florist will employ someone without a degree?
The report has been criticised, but those critics miss the point. It is not snobbish or elitist. Far from it. I would say getting a degree in floristry is just simply a waste of tax payers' money and a far more effective way of learning a trade is doing a trade. No one benefits from these courses whatsoever except someone snobbish enough to think that they need a degree “in outdoor adventure with Philosophy”.