Makerere University: Brief historical background

Makerere University Uganda

Makerere University is a leading university in Uganda and one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in Africa (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Established in 1922 as a humble technical school, Makerere University is a leading university in Uganda and 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 Uganda Technical College soon began offering various other courses including 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 Uganda Technical 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 University became an independent national university of the Republic of Uganda, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses leading to its own awards.

How it looks today, Makerere University offers not only day but also evening and external study programmes to a student body of over 30,000 undergraduates and 5,000 postgraduates (both Ugandan and foreign nationals). It is also a very active centre for research.

Makerere since July 2011 become a Collegiate University, consisting of 8 Colleges and 2 Schools, operating as semi-autonomous units of the University.

Who built Makerere University?

In 1922 the British colonial government in Uganda founded a small vocational school, which would eventually become Uganda’s lone institution of higher education, Makerere University. The British Governor of Uganda, Robert Coryndon (1918-1922), proposed building a technical school for Africans.



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