In a letter sent to all public and private universities on Tuesday, the ministry of higher education said that the Taliban leadership had placed an indefinite ban on Afghan girls attending university.
“You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending education of females until further notice,” said the letter signed by Minister for Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadeem.
The directive was confirmed by the ministry’s spokeswoman, Ziaullah Hashimi, who also tweeted the letter, in a text message to AFP.
The ban on higher education was enacted less than three months after thousands of girls and women across the nation took university entrance tests, with many of them hoping to pursue professions in engineering and medicine.
Universities were compelled to adopt new regulations following the country’s takeover by hardline Islamists in August of last year. These regulations included gender-segregated classrooms and entrances, and women were only allowed to be taught by older men or women professors.
The majority of adolescent girls in the country are already prohibited from attending secondary schools, significantly restricting their access to higher education.