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Makerere University, Uganda's largest university, was first established as a technical school in 1922, and in 1963 it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees of 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 has 25 faculties, institutes and schools offering programmes for about 35,000 undergraduates and 3,500 postgraduates.

Makerere is a home to a number of post-independence African leaders, including Milton Obote former president of Uganda, (1963-1971 and 1980-185); Julius Nyerere, a stateman and former president of Tanzanian and Benjamin Mkapa also a former Tanzanian president. In addition, the current Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki is an alumni of Makerere.

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, Ngugi wa Thiongo, John Ruganda, Paul Theroux, and Peter Nazareth, were at Makerere University at one point in their writing and academic careers. Makrere was highly rated university in africa but over the years the standard went down the drain.There has been an outcry on these falling standard that has lead to the emphasis on webmetrix.

Makerere university subscribes to Uganda Scholarly Digital Library (USDL) based at Makerere University USDL is a collection of scientific research publications by researchers at Makerere University. It is the official Institutional Repository (IR) of Makerere University.