Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) students on Wednesday held protests in Mombasa town, accusing the administration of high-handedness.
They burnt tyres and barricaded Mombasa-Malindi highway in Buxton before they were repulsed by the police.
Tens of them were arrested but later released after the administration intervened and called a crisis meeting to resolve the matter.
George Onyango, one of the students, claimed the institution had been blocking students with fee balances from progressing with their studies.
Mr Onyango said new education policies being implemented by the management had demoralised the students and that they were not involved in their drafting.
"We are barred from progressing to the next year until we sit a supplementary exam. This has never happened in any institution, That is why we are opposing the directive," he said.
Vice Chancellor Leila Abubakar said the situation had been contained and they hoped to resolve the learners' grievances in the next few days.
"Lack of communication between the administration and students resulted in the protest but we have addressed the matter through departmental heads," she said.
Prof Abubakar said the new education policy was meant to end graduation hitches reported in the past.
"The directive to ensure no student advances to the next semester unless he/she sits a supplementary exam was agreed on after we met student leaders and departmental heads to avoid cases of missing marks during graduation. The move is for the benefit of the students," the VC said.
She added, "During the protest, first-year students who were fronted by the continuing students were arrested so we had to intervene for them to be released as they are barely two weeks old in the institution. They were used by their colleagues."