Striking lecturers could be forced to work as the Government plans minimum service levels for universities.
She said the Government will launch a consultation on minimum service levels at universities to protect students from protests.
The move could result in students being guaranteed continued services such as teaching contact hours and marking during walkouts.
Mrs Keegan used her speech at Conservative Party conference to announce the policy, after a prolonged marking boycott across UK universities in the last academic year that led to thousands of students not receiving their grades on time.
She said that students have faced “constant strikes” in recent years.
Mrs Keegan added: “We’ve seen students not getting the education they’ve paid for and some not even having their degrees marked. This is outrageous behaviour.”
Under laws passed over the summer, Mrs Keegan has powers to define minimum service levels in education.
Lecturers and academic staff have been striking and refusing to mark exam papers and dissertations amid a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.
The strikes have been led by the University College Union (UCU), which is demanding a pay rise that matches the retail prices index plus two percentage points, the equivalent of 12.7 per cent, as well as the protection of gold-plated pensions and an end to temporary contracts.
The Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) has said that figures showing institutions had record deficits illustrated that they could not offer more than their proposed pay rise of between 5 and 8 per cent.
UCU has halted a marking and assessment boycott, which began in April. However, universities are still working their way through a backlog of papers. The UCU is currently balloting for a fresh six-month mandate for industrial action.
Jo Grady, the UCU general secretary, said the planned crackdown on strikes was “a spiteful attack on workers everywhere from a party that has run out of options and will soon be run out of office.
“We will not stand by while Tory MPs try to force our members to cross their own picket lines.”
Raj Jethwa, UCEA’s chief executive, said: “UCEA and our members always study such proposals carefully before responding, but our current priority is working constructively with the unions on a number of vital pay-related matters, including the review of the pay spine, workload, contract types and further action to reduce the already falling pay gaps in the sector.”