Masinde Muliro university was closed on Wednesday after students demonstrated against the management's decision for them to clear fee balances in order to be allowed to write their exams.
The students in Kakamega County hurled stones at buildings, disrupted operations and chanted slogans against the university, accusing it of failing to address their grievances.
Workers in the administration block locked themselves up in their offices as the students smashed window panes and damaged other property.
A university ambulance and several other vehicles were damaged as police confronted the protesters , throwing tear gas canisters at them.
The students had earlier complained of an unexpected deadline to clear the fee balances and accused staff in the finance department of harassing them.
They also said the university had not addressed the deaths of colleagues who lived in private hostels in Kakamega town.
On Tuesday, officials of the Masinde Muliro University Students Organization issued a notice for a peaceful demonstration.
Chairman Vincent Lumala said they were not given enough time to raise the money and make the payments.
County Police Commander Bernard Muli said one student was arrested in connection to the damage to property and that they were searching for those who took part in the demonstration.
“We have sent our officers to the institution to restore order. The grievances they have raised will be addressed by the university's management,” he said.
The university Senate later resolved to close it with immediate effect.
Following a meeting amid the unrest, acting Academic Affairs Registrar Thomas Sakwa issues an internal memo asking all students to leave by 2pm.