Mickey Mouse degrees

Mickey Mouse Degrees

Mickey Mouse degrees

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Mickey Mouse degrees is the dysphemism built from the common usage of the term "Mickey Mouse" as a pejorative. It came to prominence in the UK after use by the national tabloids of the United Kingdom to label certain university degree courses worthless or irrelevant.


The term was used by education minister Margaret Hodge, during a discussion on higher education expansion. Hodge defined a Mickey Mouse course as "one where the content is perhaps not as rigorous as one would expect and where the degree itself may not have huge relevance in the labour market"; and that, furthermore, "simply stacking up numbers on Mickey Mouse courses is not acceptable". This opinion is often raised in the summer when exam results are released and new university courses revealed. The phrase took off in the late 1990s, as the Labour government created the target of having 50% of students in higher education by 2010.

A more critical interpretation of the epithet is that it stems from a general tabloid and folk conflation and reaction to several aspects of academic interest in the latter half of the twentieth century. Such examples include the publication of Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart's political analysis of colonialism and cultural......
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