Tear gas have been fired into the grounds of the national university by police in East Timor’s capital, Dili, and several students have been arrested, reports say.
They were demonstrating against plans, by the parliament, to spend $1m on new cars for MPs.
Rounds of tear gas have been fired by local police at lines of peacefully protesting students, inside the ground of the university, eyewitnesses told the BBC.
Beside the parliament, UN police were also part of the operation.
Just arrived on the scene, the acting UN police chief said he had reports of students throwing rocks and that he could see broken glass on the ground.
Others who witnessed the protest denied there had been any provocation.
As it had not been authorised, the police had been told to break up the demonstration at the campus.
Sitting just beside the national parliament building, the university is considered a no-go area for demonstrations.
The official protest site was some distance away from the parliament, where several hundred more students were gathering.
In East Timor, this is day one of a week of protests planned by students.
Recently, in response to government spending plans and widespread allegations of corruption, opposition has been growing.