Founded in 1932 during the reign of Nadir Shah, Kabul University began as a medical school with Turkish and French faculty. In 1959, dormitories were built to house students from rural or outlying areas. By 1963, the university had eight faculties, including faculties of law and political science, natural sciences, economics, home economics, education, engineering, and pharmacy.
As student demand increased, a quota system was imposed in 1964 that fixed the urban-to-rural ratio at 60 to 40 percent. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Kabul University became a center of political activity, although the government officially banned such activity on campus in 1968. Many of the future leaders of Afghanistan, from both the left and the right of the political spectrum, began their political careers by engaging in campus politics during this time. When the communist government came to power in 1978 many of the faculty left Afghanistan. In the period after 1992 fighting between various militia groups destroyed many of the university buildings, the remaining faculty fled, and the university was essentially closed.
The government of Hamid Karzai reopened the university in 2002, but the lack of basic facilities created hardships and led to student demonstrations.
Farr, Grant. "New Afghan Middle Class: Refugees and Insurgents." In Afghan Resistance: The Politics of Survival, edited by Grant M. Farr and John G. Merriam. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987.