Police stormed Al-Azhar University on Tuesday afternoon after student protesters torched a faculty member's car on the Cairo campus, an official from the Islamic university told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
The students – described as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi – attacked a Mercedes belonging to the dean of the dentistry faculty during a protest, said Hossam Shaker, the university's media coordinator.
Security forces dispersed the protest and searched for the students behind the act, Shaker said.
Meanwhile, the university's president, Abdel-Hai Azab, said that acts of "thuggery" would be dealt with harshly, stressing that he is capable of expelling any number of students in order to maintain order.
Al-Azhar University and Cairo University were scenes of some of the worst student-led violence during last year's academic terms, as pro-Morsi students led near daily protests against Egypt's current authorities, who they charge with ousting the Islamist president in a coup in July 2013.
The violence led authorities to contract a private security firm to guard a number of public universities nationwide – including Al-Azhar – for the current academic year.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a law on 27 October giving military courts power to try those who attack government and public "vital" facilities, including public universities. The law – to last for two years – also allows army forces to assist the police in guarding these sites.
The decision hasn't halted the student protests at several schools across the country, however.