STUDENT houses run on medieval-style barter systems where skills such as washing up and joint making are exchanged, it has emerged.
As the new university term begins, researchers discovered that shared student homes were complex micro-economies based around pathetically easy domestic tasks.
Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “In a student house, nothing happens without some form of swap.
“Let’s say the sink is overflowing with washing up and cups that have fag butts in.
“After a lengthy sofa-based discussion, Student A will agree to wash up on the basis that Student B makes the tea and Student C skins up.
“However if the washing up is really nasty, Student A may request an additional task from Student B, such as putting out the pile of pizza boxes festering by the fridge, which may be performed at a later date.
“What’s amazing about student houses is that even the simplest jobs, like ordering some food from a takeaway website, are considered to have some exchange value.
“It’s a fascinating microcosm that allows us insight into what life was like before the introduction of a common currency.”
Student Tom Booker said: “Yesterday our toilet was blocked. I sorted it manually and now I’m getting cups of tea hand-delivered to my bedroom for the next year.
“There’s definitely a medieval aspect to our house, especially when the evil landlord comes around with his dogs demanding money and all we have to offer him is an out-of-date Müller Rice.”