Lad culture could soon become a criminal offence after business secretary Sajid Javid vowed to "end the evil" of sexual harassment on campus.
Javid, who is MP for Bromsgrove, has written to Universities UK, the group which represents Britain's vice-chancellors, demanding it set up a taskforce to tackle lad culture at universities.
"I’ve got three daughters and one of them is just starting her A-levels so she’s just starting to think about what she might do, and university is one of the options," Javid told the Sunday Times. "I just hate to think that she is sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t want to go to university because I might be assaulted'."
Recent research revealed almost half of universities don't have a formal policy on sexual harassment, with one institution telling students speaking to their attackers is the "preferred" approach. Figures from May showed one in three female students had experienced discrimination or sexual harassment, with more than half of the incidents occurring on campus. Of those victims, 93% did not report their experiences.
Javid added: "We've heard increasingly of the violence, especially sexual and verbal assault, against women on campus. I guess to some extent we could say that it’s nothing new, but there are more and more reports and some people suggest it is putting people off even applying to university.
"No one wants to see that kind of environment and we thought something had to be done... If the taskforce comes back with new ideas that might even require some kind of legislation or intervention, I’m taking nothing off the table. This is a very serious issue."