List of government-aided universities in Uganda

Uganda has had more government-aided than private universities, and it has been this way for way too many years. Therefore, this translates into usually higher academic standards in government universities.

In the list below, we are looking at the best and most recognized government-aided universities across the country;

1. Makerere University

Obviously, this one had to come first on the list. Makerere University is the oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education in Uganda. It was founded and established as a technical school in 1922, and became an independent national university in 1970.

It is composed of 9 colleges and a total of 35,000 students, and it awards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to its students. It’s located on 300 acres in the heart of Kampala, Uganda.

2. Kyambogo University

Kyambogo University (KYU) is one of the best public universities in Uganda. It was established in 2003 when the Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (UPK) the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo (ITEK), and the Uganda National Institute of Special Education were merged into one.

It currently has over 25,000 students and offers a wide range of academic disciplines.

3. Gulu University

Located in the heart of Gulu city, Gulu University was established in 2002 following Act 7 of 2001, by the Ugandan parliament.

It currently serves more than 4,500 students from all regions in Uganda and neighboring countries due to the incredible reputation it has gained over the past years.

4. Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) was officially commissioned in 1989 in the heart of Mbarara City. It is commonly known as Mbarara University.

It is currently occupied by over 3,000 students, and has two campuses, one along the Mbarara – Kabale  Highway, and another in Kihumuro along the Mbarara – Bushenyi Highway.

5. Soroti University

Soroti University was established by the government in 2015 followinng the lobbying by stakeholders from the Teso sub – region. It is located in Soroti district.

It has now turned into a multi-campus, degree awarding institution, and offers different courses from multiple disciplines.

6. Busitema university

Located in the East of Uganda in  Busia, Busitema university is one of the most recognized public universities in Uganda, since its establishment in 2007.

It accommodates a population of over 3,000 students, and has been widely known for its emphasis on agricultural studies.

7. Kabale university

Founded in 2001, Kabale university is located in Kabale district in Western Uganda. It employs over 400 administrative staff and has a total enrollment of over 4,000 students.

Upon its establishment in 2001, Kabale University was a private institution, and after the stakeholders lobbied, the government took over the institution in January 2015.

8. Lira university

Starting as a constituent college in 2009, Lira University was later accredited and chartered in 2012, and started with 100 students. It was still known as Gulu University constituent college until 2015 when the government elevated it to University status.

It is currently occupied by over a thousand students and offers over 18 undergraduate academic courses.

9. Uganda management institute

Uganda Management Institute (UMI) is a national center for training, training and consultancy in the field of management and administration, established in 1968.

At the beginning of its training operations in 1968, it was under the name Uganda Institute of Public Administration. It is currently affiliated with Open University of Tanzania.


Uganda has only 9 public universities, and some have separate campuses that almost see like stand-alone universities, for example Makerere University Business School is under Makerere University, even though it has grown to seem independent.

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