Egypt's higher education minister said all students who protested at universities on Sunday will be expelled by the evening of the same day, as authorities hope to deter demonstrations on campus in the new academic year that begins this week.
"All the students who participated in the violence and riots that took place in universities earlier today and were filmed on CCTV won't officially be university students by the evening," El-Sayed Abdel-Khalek said during a conference at Menoufiya University in the Nile Delta earlier on Sunday.
He added that it is better to open a dialogue with the students.
Protests took place at several universities on Sunday, mostly in Cairo – Ain Shams, Al-Azhar and Cairo universities – but also in Mansoura and Alexandria.
At the heart of the protests was a recurring demand – to release students who have been detained by police.
At least 78 students were arrested from their homes across the country between Saturday and early Sunday.
A spokesman for the April 6 movement – an activist group that played a leading role in the 2011 uprising – said that the detained students were supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Hundreds of students have been arrested during on-campus protests since Morsi's ouster in July of last year.
The recurrent protests – which have often descended in violent clashes with police, leaving at least 14 students killed – prompted the higher education ministry to hire a private security firm called Falcon to guard 15 public universities nationwide.
Sunday's student demonstrations also denounced the presence of Falcon's security personnel on campuses, with students at Cairo and Al-Azhar universities smashing the electronic gates the firm had installed ahead of the start of the new academic year.
Abdel-Khalek said the ministry won't terminate its contract with the firm.
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