Southampton Institute has hired a private security firm to track down students who dodge a campus car-parking fee of Pounds 15. The firm is hunting for students who park for free in neighbouring streets.
Even finalists face suspension if they refuse to buy a Pounds 15 annual permit for the remaining three months of term.
A letter from Mike Dove, dean of the maritime faculty, calling offenders to disciplinary hearings, says: "Parking in the roads adjacent to the Warsash Campus is deemed to be prejudicial to the interests of Southampton Institute.
"As a result of this hearing you may be suspended for up to two weeks, in which case the institute will contact your local authority who may reduce the grant you receive. If you produce a valid pass at the hearing, no further action will be taken."
One student said: "This is causing absolute uproar. There are no by-laws preventing people parking there and now they have a security firm taking pictures of our cars."
Institute spokeswoman Julie Ballard confirmed that 40 students faced disciplinary hearings last week. She said: "The Pounds 15 fee was introduced to curb demands for excessive parking and encourage the use of more environmentally-friendly methods of transport. We try to ensure students are good and responsible neighbours because we take our community relations very seriously at Warsash, so we said to students we would not tolerate them parking around the roads and inconveniencing local residents. A small minority have persisted in doing so and we think they are compromising our good relations with the community."
One of the reprimanded students inquired at her disciplinary hearing where she should park if the campus car park was full. "They said it would then be all right to park in the road," she said.