Friday, 26 October 2012

The curious world of degrees

Obviously there has been a huge amount of controversy about the coalition government raising university fees to £9,000 a year. Yes this is ridiculous, and no it probably won't dramatically improve our economy, however as bog-standard civilians and puppets of the government's weird and wonderful policies, we don't actually get a say, so we shall remain our usual bitter, reserved, British selves. 

However, while we could argue that the government are wasting taxpayers' money by increasing fees so drastically, let's consider what else the government are wasting taxpayers' money on: 'Mickey Mouse' degrees. For those of you who are staring blankly at your screen, this is actually a legitimate term coined by Margaret Hodge; shadow education minister, who labelled certain degrees and courses pointless and irrelevant. You may think this may be an over exaggeration or that a degree; whatever it may be, would be better than no degree. We'll see if you still maintain that opinion after I've listed some of the most ridiculous/pointless/stupid degrees I've ever heard of...

Firstly, I'll start with the 'David Beckham' degree at Staffordshire University. Staffordshire's ranked 100th in the country by The Times - how they reached that high a ranking when they provide this course I'm not entirely sure and I don't know what else there is to say about this. 

Secondly, there's a course called: 'The Phallus' at Occidental College in LA, which is a private, co-educational liberal arts college apparently. The course is citied as: "between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism". The only word to say to this is: "wow". 

Slightly less worrying, but absolutely bizarre is the 'Queer Musicology' degree which can be studied at UCLA. Interestingly, this course was only created due to popular demand and is the study of gender, feminism and gayness. Whoever manages to gain a relevant, well paying job out of this degree deserves a knighthood in my opinion. 

Progressing on to stupidity, we have the 'Whiteness: The Other Side of Racism' degree that can be studied at Mount Hollyoke College in America. If you were to have a lot of time to spare and actually study this degree, you would be studying what whiteness is, the ideology behind whiteness and a racialised social system. Don't even want to get started on this insanity.

Moving on to the more ridiculous (if that's possible) we have 'Mail Order Brides' at John Hopkins University in Baltimore. Can't even begin to say anything constructive to this. 

Finally, we have possibly the ultimate Mickey Mouse degree: Star Trek. Yes, you did read that right; there IS actually a degree about Star Trek. If you had some strange desire to study this pointless degree then you'd have to go to Georgetown University in Washington. The university argues that Star Trek is actually 'very philosophical'. I would have found their justification for it, but I don't think I could be bothered to waste my time searching for something that was completely illogical; there's enough of that in every day life as it is -clearly you now realise that after reading this blog post. 

In conclusion, I really don't even know what to say (trust me, that's a rarity). Margaret Hodge should have stayed in office purely for creating the term 'Mickey Mouse' degrees, because she couldn't have been more accurate or truthful about this. 

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