Just as each year has its exams are too easy debate, so there is an accompanying Mickey Mouse degrees debate, this year kicked off by a report from the self-proclaimed Taxpayer’s Alliance (I pay tax, but they don’t speak for me).
This year’s oddity is that the TPA’s report does not focus on saving the taxpayer money: ‘In determining what courses qualify, we asked the following questions in all cases: Does the course require scholarship in areas that could reasonably be defined as academic? If the course imparts practical skills only, is there a good reason it should be learned in an academic environment, rather than on the job or as part of genuine vocational training?’
Surely a true taxpayers’ alliance would simply ask: ‘would scrapping this course save money?’
A penny pinching, but savy, taxpayer would welcome the awarding of degrees in subjects previously unrecognised by academia, because graduates earn more and so pay more tax (even in allegedly Mickey Mouse fields, like tourism). That same taxpayer, would also be delighted to hear that Manchester Metropolitan University’s fashion buyers suffer only a two per cent unemployment rate, against an average of 6.4 per cent.
That is to say, Mickey Mouse degrees help spread the burden of taxation. Hurrah!