Following a policy shift towards promoting Science and Engineering degrees, three quarters of England's universities are facing real-term budget cuts this year - for the first time since Labour came to power.
University funding body Hefce has told institutions how much they will get next year from a fund of £7.3bn - £449m less than the sector was expecting.
This move is expected to have dire consequences for some of the most popular subjects in the nations' seats of higher learning.
Amy Stiles, 19, who had been accepted on a course a Loughborough to read Gender Issues and Contemporary Studies said "I'm truly gutted. Ever since I was a small boy, I'd wanted to study whatever this course is about for 2 hours a week for three years before going out into the real world and discovering I'd have been better off going out to work at 16. Now some politician has decided it's a waste of taxpayers money- it's a disgrace".
Fiona Asherton, 18, who had been due to start a course in Applied Fabric Studies agreed.
"Who is some bureaucrat to decide that understanding the intricacies of open loom weave designs and their relevance to modern society is a poor use of my time? It's people like me who are moving the country forward in the international naive textile arts fields and I think I'm entitled to do this course."
Sally Hunt of the University and Colleges' Lecturer's Union said "This really hits the future talent of this nation where it hurts. People think that it's the scientists and the engineers who build a country, but that is not the case. Think of a world without sports studies graduates, or a developed knowedge of basket weaving and its social impacts. Is that the kind of world you want to live in?"