Historical Background of Makerere University
Makerere University began as a small technical institute in 1922, in temporary buildings, with 14 students
as day boys and four instructors as Academic Staff. It was established to meet the high demand for
native artisans in the East African territories of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika and beyond. Makerere
quickly gained a reputation in the territories for producing quality artisans, school teachers as well as
medical, veterinary, agricultural and other administrative support staff for the colonial administrations
in these territories. From these humble beginnings, Makerere grew to become one of Africa’s leading
Over the years, in a step wise manner, Makerere became a College of the University of London, a College
of the University of East Africa and in 1970, and independent national University through an Act of
Parliament. Makerere served the newly independent countries of East Africa well. It trained the leaders
in all fields who ably took over the administration of their countries at independence and beyond.
Makerere also achieved world class status along the way, especially through ground breaking research
carried out in the Medical School. Unfortunately, the upheavals that bedeviled the country for over two
decades did not spare Makerere. The economic collapse and the civil wars resulted in deterioration of
learning and teaching conditions and a massive brain drain.
However, a new resurgence is taking place in Makerere University as there has been a very rapid growth
following liberalization of Higher Education in Uganda. Student population rose from 6000 to 40,000
over a ten year period with 6,000 Government-sponsored students and 34,000 privately-sponsored
students. The number of new universities in the country has also increased from one (Makerere) to
5 fully operational public universities and 2 in the pipeline. There are over 20 private universities.
Makerere University has again undertaken world class leadership in research and development (R&D)
in the Health Sciences, Agriculture and value-addition, Veterinary and Engineering Sciences and
Technology, etc. As a result, it has consistently maintained a high ranking among the top 10 African
Universities in the recent past.
Nevertheless, Makerere University’s resurgence and explosive growth have come with challenges.
Infrastructure and staff numbers have not kept pace with student population increase. Financing
arrangements have not been optimal and governance challenges have further complicated the
situation. A Strategic Plan (2008/9 – 2017/18) to propel Makerere University into the 21st Century is
in place. This review and its recommendations target improved implementation of the Strategic Plan
Extract of all the Recommendations
Below is an extract of all the recommendations in the report presented under respective Chapters. The
findings and analysis leading to the recommendations can be found in the body of the main report……….