Makerere University

Makerere University

The Main Administration block for Makerere University, normally called the Main Building
Motto We build for the future
Type Public
Established 1922
Chancellor Ezra Suruma[1]
Vice-Chancellor John Ddumba Ssentamu[2][3]
Students 40,000+ (2015)
Location Kampala, Uganda
00°21′00″N 32°34′03″E / 0.35000°N 32.56750°E / 0.35000; 32.56750Coordinates: 00°21′00″N 32°34′03″E / 0.35000°N 32.56750°E / 0.35000; 32.56750
Campus Urban
Website Homepage

Makerere University Kampala (MUK) (/məˈkɜːrərɪ/ mə-KAIR-uh-ree)[4] is Uganda's largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922. 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 composed of nine colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates.

Makerere was alma mater to many post-independence African leaders, including Ugandan president Milton Obote and Tanzanian presidents Julius Nyerere and Benjamin Mkapa. The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, and 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. Many 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.

Because of student unrest and faculty disenchantment, the university was closed three times between 2006 and 2016. The final time was on 1 November 2016 when President Yoweri Museveni declared it closed indefinitely.[5]


Founding of the technical school

The trade school that became Makerere University began operating in 1921 with the first classes in carpentry, building construction and mechanics.[6] In 1922 it was founded as the "Uganda Technical College" with additional courses in the arts, education, agriculture and medicine.[6][7] That same year, it was again renameed as Makerere College.[6] In 1928, the vocational classes were separated from the college and renamed Kampala Technical School.[6] In 1937, the college began offering post-secondary education certificate courses.[7]

Unrest in the 2000s

The university was closed three times between 2006 and 2016.[8]

Beginning on 1 August 2016, the non-teaching staff went on strike demanding their back pay. The strike lasted three weeks and the government agreed to pay them by the end of October; however, the government failed to do so.[9] This was but one more broken promise in the cycle of failed promises, strikes, and more promises.[8] That strike was followed by a strike of the lecturers over unpaid incentive pay, and that strike was joined by students in solidarity. This led to President Yoweri Museveni closing the university "indefinitely".[8] Additional protests, including from parents whose children were left hanging in mid-semester, led to Museveni appointing a special commission to try to rectify the situation but with no promises of reopening. The commission's report is due in late February 2017. [5]


Subcommittees of the University Council

Academic units



School of Law

Directorate of Research and Graduate Training.[18]

Affiliated institutions

Notable former and current faculty administrators

Other academics

Notable alumni

See also Category:Makerere University alumni

Political figures and government employees


Writers and journalists


Halls of residence

As of September 2015, the halls of residence at Makerere University include the following:[24]

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
  3. Complex Hall

For students of medicine in their final years

  1. Galloway House

Upcountry campuses

In January 2010, the university announced the opening of two new campuses, one in the city of Fort Portal, approximately 310 kilometres (190 mi), by road, west of Kampala, and another one in the city of Jinja, approximately 85 kilometres (53 mi), by road, east of Kampala. The following courses will be offered at the upcountry campuses: [25]

Eastern Campus, Jinja

Western Campus, Fort Portal

See also


  1. Ahimbisibwe, Patience (18 January 2016). "Dr. Suruma installed Makerere chancellor". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. Kagolo, Francis (28 August 2012). "Professor Ddumba Is New Makerere Vice Chancellor". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  3. VC-MAK (6 September 2012). "Professor John Ddumba Ssentamu Takes Office, Pledges To Promote Makerere's Brand". Office of the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University (VC-MAK). Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  4. Peter Roach, Jane Setter, John Esling, eds., Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2011; ISBN 0521765757), p. 302.
  5. 1 2 "Statement: Makerere Visitation Committee lists responsibilities". Uganda Journalists' Resource Centre, The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME). 22 November 2016. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Uganda. Public Service Review and Re-organization Commission (1990). Public Service Review and Reorganisation Commission, 1989-1990, Volume 1. Kampala, Uganda: Uganda. Ministry of Public Service and Cabinet Affairs. p. 272. OCLC 32432462.
  7. 1 2 "Annotated History of Makerere University 1922–2012". 90 Years of Makerere University. Makerere University. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 Barungi. Andrew (21 November 2016). "Makerere University is closed. Now what?". Uganda Journalists' Resource Centre, The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME). Archived from the original on 2 December 2016.
  9. Tusiime, Christopher (30 November 2016). "Non-teaching staff in public universities to go on strike". Campus Bee. Makerere University. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016.
  10. "Makerere University Governance: Appointments Board". Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  11. "Finance, Planning and Administration". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  12. "Quality Assurance, Gender and ICT Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  13. "Estates and Works". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  14. "Staff Development, Welfare and Retirement Benefits". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  15. "Students Affairs and Disciplinary Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  16. "Honorary Awards Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  17. "Audit Sub Committee". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  18. "Directorate of Research and Graduate Training".
  19. "Celebrating Ngugi wa Thiong'o at 70". African-Writing Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  21. Ainebyoona, Emmanuel (15 February 2015). "Makerere Gets Mwai Kibaki Presidential Library". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  22. Kyemba, Henry. A State of Blood, p. 21
  23. "Special Sitting of the Supreme Court of Belize". Press Office of the Government of Belize. 28 March 2001. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  24. Grace Kenganzi, and Rose Rukundo (20 February 2014). "The stories behind Makerere University halls of residence". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  25. Haywood, Katherine (5 January 2010). "Makerere VC Rolls Out 2010 Plan for Varsity". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 30 January 2015.

External links

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