Higher Education Minister expands on recruitment limits on 'Mickey Mouse' degrees

17 July 2023, 13:22

Tom Swarbrick quizzes the Skills and Higher Education Minister

By Anna Fox

As the Prime Minister claims "too many young people are being sold a false dream" and are failing to secure a job at the end of a degree, the Higher Education Minister explains how the Tories will crack down on rip-off courses.

The Prime Minister has announced the Conservatives' plans to clamp down on degrees that fail to provide students with a job post-graduation.

In a statement last night, Rishi Sunak said: “Too many young people are being sold a false dream and end up doing a poor-quality course that doesn’t offer the prospect of a decent job at the end of it.

“That is why we are taking action to crack down on rip-off university courses while boosting skills training and apprenticeships provision.

"This will help more young people to choose the path that is right to help them reach their potential and grow our economy".

Tom Swarbrick quizzed the Skills and Higher Education Minister, on the government's decision to crack down on 'Mickey Mouse' degrees.

Tom began by saying: "Why would I be stopped from doing a creative writing degree at the University of Bolton, even if I meant it meant that I worked in the cafe afterwards?"

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Robert Halfon replied saying: "First of all, you're choosing a particular course, and as I said, this could be any course at any university that has poor outcomes."

Continuing, the Minister for Skills and Higher Education said: "Of course, university is about education, about experience and intellectual development, and I'm proud that we have four of the best universities in the world.

"But if you are making that investment and taking out a huge loan, it's right that investment is reflected in your job earnings".

Noting that the so-called 'Mickey Mouse' will not be "scrapped", Mr Halfon confirmed there would be "recruitment limits" on those courses and it will be up to the "Office for Students to identify those courses that they feel are not".

Finishing his point, the Minister for Skills and Higher Education told Tom, the Tories' plan "isn't just about employment" adding: "These are courses that may have poor continuation, i.e. people drop out, they may have poor completion because people don't complete at the end".

The Government has also lowered the cap on tuition fees for classroom-based tuition fees to £5,760 from £9,250.

Rishi Sunak has also vowed to boost access to apprenticeships to lower the number of students going to university in order to compete.

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