Universities that offer Mickey Mouse degrees could be hit with £500,000 fines
17th November 2020

CRUMBY universities that dole out Mickey Mouse degrees could be slapped with £500,000 fines in a new crackdown.

Lazy higher education bosses could also be stripped of all their public funding – a move which could see them close for good.

The Uni watchdog said vice chancellors with sky-high dropout rates will also face tough new measures as the Office for Students (OfS) lashed work-shy universities for taking bumper pay cheques from teens for worthless courses.

And they warned heads that their time cashing in on the student fee gravy train will soon be over.

Nicola Dandridge, boss of the OfS, said: “These proposals strengthen our ability to intervene where we have concerns. We have previously been clear that we are determined to stamp out any pockets of low quality.

“These proposals would not only raise the bar in terms of the quality overall, but would enable us to monitor quality at a subject level, as well as taking into account issues which might be affecting students from particular groups.”

The tough new proposals would let the watchdog punish universities which are failing in particular subjects and courses. Universities with high dropout rates or failing to deliver for certain groups of students – for example disabled students – could also be hit.

The worst offenders could be stung by whopping £500,000 fines or stripped of all their funding – a move which would see them closed. Universities Minister Michelle Donelan backed the crackdown, which is being consulted on.

She said: “We want all university students, regardless of their background, to benefit from high quality, world-leading higher education. Our manifesto promised to explore ways to tackle low quality courses, and we continue to support the Office for students on this.

“I am pleased that the OfS aims to raise the bar on quality and standards.

"We must have robust regulation of our higher education system, which includes strong action if standards slip and principles which protect students’ interests.”

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