University professors have been forced to use a technique adopted by primary school teachers - and dish out red cards to childish male students.
Beleaguered lecturers revealed that they were forced into brandishing yellow and red cards to combat laddishness in lessons.
The card system sees tearaway students first threatened with a yellow before being removed from the lecture if their juvenile antics continue.
The research, carried out by Prof Carolyn Jackson of Lancaster University, said that symptoms of laddishness included talking and generally being loud, being a joker, throwing stuff, arriving late and being rude and disrespectful to lecturers.
The paper, presented to the annual conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education and based on research conducted at an unnamed university, also defined “lads” as “loud and attention-seeking, confident, into sport, popular, jokers, often heavy drinkers and sexually promiscuous.”
Prof Jackson said: “Some lecturers told alarming stories of aggressive and very antagonistic confrontations between lecturers and male students.”
She said lecturers had to use “shocking” behaviour management techniques, such as the card system, something one “wouldn’t even expect in secondary school.”
One student, Pete, described how the lads in his first year would indulge in “loudness, messing about, giggling, laughing in classes and trying to get away with stuff and push the teacher as much as they could.”
One lecturer, identified only as John, explained to researchers how it was often the actions of female students that were most effective in putting an end to rowdy and excessive laddishness.
He said: “One student a couple years ago, she was great, a very strong lass who stood up, turned round and said, ‘Will you shut the f**k up, I’m trying to learn.’
“And they did ... peer pressure gets them a lot more because suddenly they’re made to look fools by a girl, and actually, they didn’t like that.”
But the paper suggested that after the first year, the most disruptive students had been “weeded out” as many of them failed their first-year exams.