It's an order that girls and women across Afghanistan had been dreading ever since the Taliban returned.

On Wednesday, girls in their hijabs turned up to their university campuses to be blocked and turned away by Taliban guards.

After excluding girls from most secondary schools these past 16 months, the Taliban this week also banned university education for women.

"They have destroyed the only bridge that could connect me with my future," one Kabul University student said

"How can I react? I believed that I could study and change my future or bring the light to my life but they destroyed it."

Sources from three provinces - Takhar in the north, Ghazni in the south-east and the capital Kabul - confirmed that the Taliban had stopped girls from attending private education centres there.

It led some women to dare to protest on Wednesday on the streets in Kabul - a dangerous act given the Taliban's record for detaining protesters.

The small demonstrations were quickly shut down by Taliban officials. This generation had thought they were the lucky ones - getting the education denied to their mothers, older sisters and cousins.