Makerere University (MAK), Uganda's largest and second-oldest higher institution of learning, (the oldest is Katigondo National Major Seminary in Masaka District, which was established in 1911), was 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 constituted of 9 Colleges and 1 school offering programmes for about 30,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates.
Makerere was home to many post-independence African leaders, including former Ugandan president Milton Obote and late Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa and current 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. Some 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.
In September 2011, the university announced that it would close indefinitely following a week-long strike by the lecturers who refused resume work until their demands were met.
Read more about Makerere University: Historical Background, Notable Former and Current Faculty and Administrators, Halls of Residence, Ranking, Upcountry Campuses
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“I had a classmate who fitted for college by the lamps of a lighthouse, which was more light, we think, than the University afforded.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)