Norway is to prepare guidelines banning female students from wearing full-face veils, the country's education minister said Thursday.
"In our view, full-face veils like the niqab do not belong in an educational situations since they prevent communication," Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in an email to dpa.
"The government is therefore investigating the possibility of regulating the use of such garments in daycare centres, schools and universities," he added.
Earlier, Isaksen told public broadcaster NRK that "in practice it [the niqab] will be banned, but not through a bill."
Isaksen belongs to Prime Minister Erna Solberg's conservatives that rule with the right-wing populist Progressive Party. The populists support a ban as does the main opposition Labour Party.
The National Union of Students, Norway's largest with about 230,000 members, opposed a ban saying there was insufficient research to support the idea that full-face veils constituted an obstacle in all educational situations.
About 2.7 per cent of Norway's 5.2 million inhabitants are practicing Muslims, according to the national statistics agency.