Makerere University

Makerere University, Kampala (/məˈkɛrəri/ ;[6] Mak) is Uganda's largest and oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922. It became an independent national university in 1970. Today, Makerere University is composed of nine colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduate. The main administrative block recently was gutted by fire in September 2020 and the cause of the fire is yet to be established.[7]

Makerere University
The Main Administration block for Makerere University, normally called the Main Building
Motto"We build for the future"
Established1922; 99 years ago (1922)
ChancellorEzra Suruma[1]
Vice-ChancellorBarnabas Nawangwe[2][3]
Administrative staff
3,174 (2018)[4]
Students35,000+ (2018)[5]
00°20′06″N 32°34′03″E
Location in Kampala

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Makerere University as the eighth best university in Africa and the 569th best university worldwide.[8] In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking, Makerere is the highest-ranked university in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.[9] The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2016 ranked it as the fourth best university in Africa.[10]

Makerere University was alma mater to many post-independence African leaders, including Ugandan president Milton Obote[11] and Tanzanian presidents Julius Nyerere and Benjamin Mkapa.[12] The former 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, Nobel Prize laureate 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.[13] The university was reopened in January 2017.[14]