Amber Rudd has urged university workers striking in a bitter dispute over pensions to "get back to work".
The Home Secretary said it was "important" that the row was resolved because "people need to get their degrees".
More than a million students could face disruption in the coming weeks as members of the University and College Union (UCU) take industrial action at campuses around the country.
Ms Rudd, who is also Women and Equalities Minister, was asked about the gender pay gap at universities during questions in the Commons.
Labour's Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge) said: "Only three universities have so far reported on this and on a day when academics are bravely standing up to defend their pensions, can the minister tell us when she expects that the gender pay gap will be eliminated in our universities?"
Ms Rudd replied: "I would urge all universities to address reporting their gender pay gap: it is the law, they need to do so.
"And a word on the other matter if I may, I think it is important that this dispute between students, effectively, the universities and their staff is resolved because people need to get their degrees and I would urge the striking lecturers to get back to work."