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Makerere University

Makerere University
The Main Administration block for Makerere University, this is normally called the Main Building
Motto We build for the future
Established 1922
Type Public
Chancellor Prof. Mondo Kagonyera
Vice-Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu[1]
Students 40,000
Location Kampala, Uganda
Campus Urban
Website Homepage

Makerere University Kampala (MUK) ( )[2] is Uganda's largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922 (the oldest is Katigondo National Major Seminary in Masaka District, which was established in 1911; and Bishop Tucker Theological College, which was established in 1913).[3] In 1963 it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees from the University of London. It became an independent national university in 1970 when the University of East Africa was split into three independent universities: University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Makerere University. Today, Makerere University is constituted of 9 Colleges and 1 school offering programmes for about 30,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates.

Makerere was home to many post-independence African leaders, including former Ugandan president Milton Obote and late Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa current president of the DRC Joseph Kabila and the former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki are also Makerere alumni.

In the years immediately after Uganda's independence, Makerere University was a focal point for the literary activity that was central to African nationalist culture. Some prominent writers, including Nuruddin Farah, Ali Mazrui, David Rubadiri, Okello Oculi, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, John Ruganda, Paul Theroux, V. S. Naipaul and Peter Nazareth, were at Makerere University at one point in their writing and academic careers.


  • Historical Background 1
  • Organisation 2
    • Governance 2.1
    • Sub Committees of the University Council 2.2
    • Members of Management 2.3
  • Academic Units 3
    • Colleges 3.1
    • School 3.2
    • Facilities 3.3
  • Notable former and current faculty administrators 4
  • Notable alumni 5
    • Political figures and Government employees 5.1
    • Sportspeople 5.2
    • Writers and journalists 5.3
    • Others 5.4
  • Halls of residence 6
  • Upcountry campuses 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Historical Background

Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University(MAK) is one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in Africa. In January of that year, the school, which was later renamed Uganda Technical College, opened its doors to 14 day students who began studying Carpentry, Building and Mechanics.The College soon began offering various other courses in Medical Care, Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences and Teacher Training. It expanded over the years to become a Center for Higher Education in East Africa in 1935. In 1937, the College started developing into an institution of higher education, offering post-school certificate courses.

In 1949, it became a University College affiliated to the University College of London, offering courses leading to the general degrees of its then mother institution.

With the establishment of the University of East Africa in June 29, 1963, the special relationship with the University of London came to a close and degrees of the University of East Africa were instituted.

On July 1, 1970, Makerere became an independent national university of the Republic of Uganda, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses leading to its own awards. Makerere University offers not only day but also evening and external study programmes to a student body of about 35,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates (both Ugandan and foreign). It is also a very active centre for research.

The University transitioned from the Faculty-based to the collegiate system on 1 July and as of Friday 30 December 2011, Makerere University officially transformed into a Collegiate University with 9 Constituent Colleges and one School, operating as semi-autonomous units of the University.



The University Council is the supreme governance body- The University council works through Eight Committees. Academic matters are channeled to Council through Senate.

Sub Committees of the University Council

  • Appointments Board [4]
  • Finance, Planning and Administration[5]
  • Quality Assurance, Gender and ICT[6]
  • Estates and Works[7]
  • Staff Development, Welfare and Retirement Benefits[8]
  • Students Affairs and Disciplinary[9]
  • Honorary Awards[10]
  • Audit[11]

Members of Management

  • Vice Chancellor
  • First Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration)
  • University Secretary
  • Academic Registrar
  • University Bursar
  • Dean of Students
  • University Librarian
  • Director of Planning and Development
  • Director of Human Resources

Academic Units


  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Business and Management Sciences
  • College of Computing & Information Sciences
  • College of Education and External Studies
  • College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal resources and BioSecurity


School of Law

Directorate of Research and Graduate Training.[12]


The University Library was established in 1949. In addition to its primary role as an academic library, it also serves as the national reference library and the legal depository of all works published in Uganda. It is also a depository for the United Nations.

The University has maintained a non-sectarian stand on creed, and admits student from every religious background. Nevertheless, the institution is home to St. Francis Chapel for the Church of Uganda (since 1955, St. Augustine Chapel for the Roman Catholic Church (1955) and a Mosque for The Islamic faith (1948).

Games and sports facilities include a swimming pool, a rugby pitch (popularly known as 'The Graveyard'), 3 football pitches including the famous Nsibirwa Grounds, 4 tennis courts, an athletic track, 2 basketball courts, a cricket oval. 2 squash courts among others. University sports teams participate both locally and internationally. Some of the teams participate in the National leagues of their disciplines, the most famous being The Impis Rugby Club which won the 1998 league title. Makerere also plays host to The Makerere 10s Rugby Tournament every November, which is the biggest 10s Rugby tournament in East Africa. Makerere University has nine undergraduate halls of residence three female and six male and one postgraduate hall. Two off campus hostels in Mulago and Kabanyolo accommodate students from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Agriculture respectively.

Notable former and current faculty administrators

  • Venansius Baryamureeba, Computer Scientist, former Vice Chancellor
  • Hugh Dinwiddy, lecturer in literature, Warden of Northcote Hall
  • Ssenteza Kajubi, A two time Vice Chancellor, Educationist
  • Abraham Kiapi (RIP) Former Dean of Faculty of Law
  • George Kirya, microbiologist, diplomat, academic, former Vice Chancellor at Makerere; current Chairman of Uganda Health Services Commission
  • Livingstone Luboobi, mathematician, former Dean of Faculty of Science and Vice Chancellor
  • Mahmood Mamdani, political scientist and historian
  • Ali Mazrui, academic, historian and political scientist
  • Apolo Nsibambi, former Prime Minister of Uganda and former Chancellor of Makerere University
  • Joe Oloka-Onyango, former Dean of Law and human rights expert
  • George L Openjuru, Educationist current Dean School of Distance and Lifelong Learning
  • Okot p'Bitek, poet
  • Jude Ssebuwufu, a renown Chemist,Vice Chancellor to remember
  • Vincent A Ssembatya, mathematician, former Dean of Faculty of Science, current Director of Quality Assurance of Makerere University
  • David Serwadda, former dean, School of Public Health
  • Nelson Sewankambo, principal, College of Health Sciences
  • Sylvia Tamale, lawyer, academic, women's rights activist
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, novelist[13]
  • Timothy Wangusa, author, poet, one time minister of education
  • John L. Ziegler, former Director of Uganda Cancer Institute, current Professor in Residence Emeritus at UCSF[14]
  • Prof David Justin Bakibinga, Advocate and Legal Author, former Dean of Law, Director, School of Graduate Studies and Deputy Vice Chancellor ( Finance & Administration ), Makerere University.

Notable alumni

See also Category:Makerere University alumni

Political figures and Government employees


Writers and journalists


Halls of residence

The original eight halls of residence are:

For men
  1. Livingstone Hall
  2. Lumumba Hall
  3. Mitchell Hall
  4. Nkrumah Hall
  5. Nsibirwa Hall
  6. University Hall
For women
  1. Africa Hall
  2. Mary Stuart Hall

Other halls that have been added include:

For Women
  1. Complex Hall(CCE)
For Students of Medicine in their final years
  1. Galloway

Upcountry campuses

In January 2010, the university announced the opening of two new campuses, one in the city of Fort Portal, approximately 311 kilometres (193 mi), by road, west of Kampala, and another one in the city of Jinja, approximately 86 kilometres (53 mi), by road, east of Kampala. The following courses will be offered at the upcountry campuses: [17]

Eastern Campus, Jinja
Western Campus, Fort Portal

See also


  1. ^ Professor Ddumba Ssentamu Appointed Vice Chancellor of Makerere University
  2. ^ Peter Roach, Jane Setter, John Esling, eds., Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2011; ISBN 0521765757), p. 302.
  3. ^ "school of Divinity and Theology". 
  4. ^ "Appointments Board". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Finance, Planning and Administration". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Quality Assurance, Gender and ICT Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Estates and Works". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Staff Development, Welfare and Retirement Benefits". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Students Affairs and Disciplinary Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Honorary Awards Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Audit Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Directorate of Research and Graduate Training". 
  13. ^ "Celebrating Ngugi wa Thiong’o at 70". African-Writing Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Kyemba, Henry. A State of Blood, p. 21
  16. ^ "Special Sitting of the Supreme Court of Belize". Press Office of the Government of Belize. 2001-03-28. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  17. ^ Makerere Opens New Campuses

External links

  • Website of Makerere University
  • Makerere University News
  • Find More News About Makerere University here:
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