A philosophy student overheard through the wall of his room saying ‘veganism is wrong’ and ‘gender fluidity is stupid’ was threatened with expulsion by his university, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Robert Ivinson said he was disciplined after a student next door in halls of residence at Exeter University heard the comments then complained he had been offensive and ‘transphobic’.

Mr Ivinson, who expressed the views in a phone call to a friend, was hauled before university officials and put on a ‘behavioural contract’ for the rest of his studies.

He was warned he could be expelled if the university thought he had done anything else wrong, and told by letter he had been found guilty of harassment.

Last night, critics condemned Mr Ivinson’s punishment as an example of the ‘insidious erosion’ of free speech in the UK’s academic institutions.