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Higher Education

Academic and higher technical education opportunities were well-developed by 1978. The first college of Medicine opened in Kabul in 1932 and later faculties were joined to form Kabul University in 1946; women were admitted in 1960; and all faculties were brought to a central campus in 1964. Kabul University extended its facilities by opening the Nangarhar Faculty of Medicine in Jalalabad in 1963 which formed the nucleus of Ningrahar University in 1964 which has been called the Ningrahar Islamic University since 1992. In addition, over the years increasing numbers of students, male and female, studied abroad.

Support for the university's faculties came from many international sources, including the United States. In 1969 Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin opened the Polytechnic Institute in Kabul where the curriculum included engineering, geology, mineral, oil and gas exploitation, roads and industrial construction, hydroelectric networks and city planning. Later, during the tenure of the PDPA governments, Balkh University (1986), Herat University (1988), and Kandahar University (1991) were established. In the mid-1990s, institutions were opened in Baghlan, Takhar and Bamiyan. Most higher education institutions were still functioning in 1996, albeit in severely damaged physical facilities, with next to no textbooks, libraries or laboratories, and hampered by underqualified staff. The Taliban exclude women from universities in areas under their control.

Data as of 1997