A Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University building was completely gutted in the early hours of Monday.
The Xanadu Melody (XM) clubhouse on South Campus was set alight at about 1.30am.
The fire was first seen by the campus security guard.
Damage is expected to be in the region of R1.7-million.
The university’s spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela said the cause and source of the fire was unknown.
“The XM Clubhouse building was burned down quite badly. Fortunately, no students or staff were affected by the incident,” she said.
“Campus security and the police contingent on campus are monitoring this situation closely.”
Mbabela said there were no links to the #FeesMustFall protest which has rocked the university for almost a month.
“The source and cause of the fire is a matter under police investigation and the university is therefore not in a position to comment on this at present,” Mbabela said.
National police spokesman Brigadier Sally de Beer confirmed a case of arson had been opened.
“The cricket clubhouse which is situated on the [university] premises was set alight. Approximately 50 students were standing in close proximity of the burning clubhouse. The building was totally gutted by the fire,” she said.
“No arrests have been made. No-one was injured during the fire. The cause of fire is yet to be established.”
One of the #FeesMustFall leaders, Thanduxolo Nkala, declined to comment.
The university plans to reopen on Tuesday.