Counter-terrorism officers are being stationed in universities at risk of being targeted by extremists.
Universities minister David Lammy said a number of particular institutions had been identified to work closely with police.
In an interview for BBC Radio 4's The Report, Mr Lammy said: “We have identified universities for whom the risk is greater and they have to work closely with Special Branch, and so I think it is a partnership between leadership at universities and the police.
“We do not recognise a caricature of a significant risk across Britain,” he said.
But Mr Lammy added: “We do recognise that threat levels have been raised and that this is an extremely serious issue and that there are particular institutions where the risk is greater and those institutions are working very closely with the police and Special Branch and those institutions (police and Special Branch) are on campus.”
Vice-chancellors announced last month they were establishing a panel to look at how universities can take action to prevent violent extremism while protecting freedom of speech.