on boot the green ACT starts flickering and stops after a few seconds
Sounds good. This means the pi has at least booted the OS. I'm presuming below that you are using Raspbian or some other GNU/Linux distro.
Note that the first time you boot Raspbian, it expects to guide you through a configuration process. Although I don't think this should have impacted the ethernet connectivity, I can't say for sure.
the ethernet leds (orange and green) are lit while the raspi is connected to the router.
I believe this indicates there is a good link layer connection between the pi and the router.
Is there anything I can do in this situation?
Since this is for university, you might as well try to diagnose this with some standard low level tools. After completing the configuration process mentioned above, start by disabling network autoconfiguration; it is evidently not working for you anyway.
Reboot, then check the output of
ip link. It should mention two interfaces,
eth0; the latter will be
state DOWN. Set it up with:
sudo ip link set eth0 up
Presuming your router uses DHCP, you should now be able to get an IP with:
sudo dhclient -v eth0
This may take a few seconds and it will spit lines about discovery and obtaining a lease, then exit into the background. You can double check the assigned address with
At that point the pi should be visible on the router interface. If the LAN is not isolated you should be able to, e.g.,
ping 18.104.22.168. If that works, try
ping google.com; if that works you have an IP and DNS, i.e., normal internet.