Egypt's Al-Azhar University – the oldest seat of Islamic learning in the Middle East – has expelled 76 students from different faculties for "involvement in riots," Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
Al-Azhar students have been at the forefront of protests supporting former president Mohamed Morsi and opposing Egypt's current interim authorities since the start of the academic year last August.
Continuous clashes between security forces and students at the university have culminated in several deaths among their ranks. Dozens of Al-Azhar students have been tried, with tens sentenced for their involvement in clashes with police.
Al-Azhar University President Osama El-Abd said that investigations proved the students took part in activities which violate university rules and that 36 of them were female students from the university's branch in the Nile Delta city of Zagazig, according to MENA.
Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour amended a law in February allowing university heads to expel protesting students. Twenty-five Al-Azhar students were expelled in March.
The start of the current academic term was postponed for three weeks for security reasons. Greater security measures were implemented to counter the pro-Morsi protests common at some of Egypt's top universities.
Egyptian police forces have been accused by rights groups of heavy handedness and random arrests during the confrontations with students.