Teargas and stun grenades were fired by police during a student protest at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Wednesday morning.
The students were protesting over what they say is a slow online registration process.
A police car was stoned during the fracas and a couple of students were arrested.
Zabelo Ntuli, president of the DUT Student Representative Council, said they wanted to shut down the university until walk-in and on-campus registrations are resumed.
Ntuli said students who come from very far away have been turned away by the university and forced to sleep on the streets.
“Today we are going to shut down this university by fire or by force until everyone is assisted. We are not going to allow this treatment to happen to our students,” he said.
On-campus registration had to be suspended at the university after more than 500 students showed up at the institution on Tuesday.
By around 11.30 am police had successfully dispersed the protesting students.