Established in 1922 as a humble technical school, Makerere University is one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in Africa. The School was later renamed Uganda Technical College in January of 1922 and soon began offering various courses in Medical Care, Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences and Teacher Training. It expanded over the years to become a centre for Higher Education in East Africa in 1935. The College underwent several other changes until July 1, 1970 when it became an independent national university 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 33,469 students by the end of 2011.
The University is spread over three campuses. The 350 acre Main campus is located on Makerere Hill, 5 km from the city centre. The 45 acre College of Health Sciences (formerly Faculty of Medicine and School of Public Health) is located on Mulago Hill adjacent to the National Referral Hospital-2km from the Main Campus. The Agricultural Institute, Kabanyolo is located 30kms. The University Estate also includes a 350acre Buyana Stock Farm-under the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and is located 60kms on the Kampala -Masaka highway. Kasangati Health Centre- Linked to the School of Public Health. Kibale Forest Reserve under the Institute of Environment and Natural Resource and Budongo Forest Reserve under the Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation. Attached to the Institute of Adult and Continuing Education are 9 adult education and extramural centres.
The University is organised into six colleges offering several undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The six colleges include:
- College of Agricultural Sciences & Environmental Studies
- College of Business and Management Sciences
- College of Computing and Information Sciences
- College of Education and External Studies
- College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology
- College of Health Sciences
The University boasts of a School of Computing & Information with an investment of over USD 20million in infrastructure and facilities. The University also library which serves as a National Reference Library and is one of the biggest libraries in East Africa.