Degrees in golf management, surf science and computer games technology – derided as "Mickey Mouse" courses – were singled out yesterday as essential to the UK economy.
Degrees unheard of years ago and attacked for little academic merit are "providing challenging courses that prepare graduates to enter emerging and more established industries," according to a report by Universities UK.
The group, representing Britain’s universities, suggests institutions are working with employers to develop business-focused degrees and enhance graduate employability.
Higher Level Learning: Universities And Employers Working Together features case studies from 26 universities across a range of industries including sport and leisure, construction, brewing, media and fashion, and financial services.
It looks at how universities connect with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and help entrepreneurship.
Professor Drummond Bone, president of Universities UK, said: "The case studies cover key industries – media and fashion, for example, is worth #90 billion a year."