Uganda Best Colleges and Universities

Uganda Education Facts


Education is highly valued by tradition in Uganda, but the education system was razed during the political and economic chaos of the 1970s and 1980s. Nevertheless, literacy has been kept at a relatively high level. The school system consists of a seven-year elementary school and two supplementary stages of four years and two years respectively. There are both state and private schools. Many of the oldest schools were started by Christian missionaries from Europe.

In 2003, the school fees for the compulsory school were abolished, and four years later also for high school and upper secondary education.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Uganda, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

Today, almost all children start school. However, according to the UN education body Unesco, almost seven children out of ten school quit prematurely. An important reason is that parents find it difficult to get enough money for school books, pens, school food and other things. It is also common for children to work alongside the school, especially if they live in the countryside. Many teachers have major shortcomings in their education and wages are low.

In the fall of 2016, the Supreme Court ordered that some 60 schools run by the American foundation Bridge International Academies be closed due to shortcomings, among other things, with curricula and sanitary conditions. However, some evaluators felt that the situation was not better in the state schools (see also Calendar).

At the university level, the number of students had increased to just over 200,000 in 2013.

There are six state universities. The most important is the Makerere University in Kampala which was founded in 1922 and is the oldest in East Africa, and the Technical University of Mbarara. Since 1988, there is also a small Muslim university in Mbale.

In addition, a number of new, private universities of varying quality have been started. The low university fees have meant that the Ugandan higher education institutions have attracted students from other parts of East Africa.

According to American Freedom House, in recent years there have been some restrictions on academic freedom, among other things, professors need to request permission for all public meetings in the university field. There is also information that the security service monitors public lectures.

  • Educationvv: Provides school and education information in Uganda, covering middle school, high school and college education.


Proportion of children starting primary school

90.9 percent (2013)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

43 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

70.2 percent (2012)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

12.1 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

12.1 percent (2017)



Opposition politicians go underground for police fears

December 16th

Opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, best known as pop star Bobi Wine, goes underground after police conducted a raid on the hotel he was staying in for a concert. According to Kyagulanyi’s lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, several of the opposition politicians’ supporters and colleagues have been arrested and / or beaten in connection with the strike. Kyagulanyi was prosecuted in August along with some 30 other opposition treason politicians, accused of lying behind a stone’s throw against a presidential column (see August 2018).


Bobi Wine back on stage

November 11

Opposition politicians and singer Bobi Wine (actually called Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu) are appearing for the first time since he was charged with treason. He is allowed to do so because the concert is not considered political. However, the concert is conducted under heavy police supervision.


“Bobi Wine” returns to Uganda

September 20

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, aka pop star Bobi Wine, returns to his home country from the United States where he was cared for the injuries he claims he suffered when he was beaten by Ugandan security forces (see August 2018). He is welcomed by about 100 followers, even though the authorities have banned all manifestations in connection with his return. According to the CPJ press release, at least eight journalists who guarded the return of opposition politicians are arrested. The journalists are detained for four hours and their equipment seized.

Museveni blames protests for “foreign forces”

September 9th

President Museveni, in a four-hour long speech, accuses foreign forces of causing concern in the country by donating money to his political opponents. Their actions also contribute to undermining the image of Uganda abroad, which in the long term is a threat to economic growth in the country, he further claims. He also criticizes media, both domestic and international, and voluntary organizations. A few days earlier, the government has announced an investigation into organizations that it believes have supported the protests in Kampala. Museveni says the groups have received money from outside and the purpose is to strengthen foreign players.


Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is arrested again and released

August 31st

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who was released on bail, is arrested again at the airport when he was on his way to the United States to seek medical attention. Another opposition politician, Francis Zaake, is arrested on the same occasion. A day later, both can leave the country for treatment abroad. A few days later, Kyagulanyi testifies about the torture he was subjected to by the military.

Opposition politicians are accused of high treason

August 23rd

The military court is laying charges of illegal possession of weapons against independent MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (singer Bobi Wine). But when he is released, he is arrested again and charged with treason in a civil court. Alongside Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, about 30 others are charged with the same crime. Now world stars such as Angelique Kidjo, Chris Martinoch and Wole Soyinka are also joining the Ugandans demanding the release of Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. At the same time, reports that the police blocked off areas around opposition politicians’ homes and reportedly arrest opposition leader Kizza Besigye in Kampala. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, and the other accused, are released towards the bail at the end of the month.

At least 100 arrested following protests in Kampala

21th of August

About 100 people in Kampala in connection with protests against the arrest of opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine). A man is killed in connection with the protests. A film is shown showing how two soldiers beat a press photographer. Later, the military apologizes for the soldiers’ behavior, which is unusual in Uganda.

Opposition politicians in court in military court

August 16th

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (also known as singer Bobi Wine) who was arrested early this week along with three other opposition politicians is facing a military court. He is charged with unlawful possession of two weapons. The arrest takes place after a stone’s throw against a presidential column in connection with a parliamentary election in the city of Arua in the northwestern part of the country. In the riot that ensued, Kyagulanyi’s driver was shot to death. However, President Museveni was not in any of the cars. Later, Kyagulanyi is reportedly badly beaten by security forces, something the president later denies. The opposition candidate was in Arua to campaign for the independent candidate Kassiano Wadri, who also wins the election. In addition to the four politicians, another 30 people have been arrested. The general election was held since the previous constituency of Ibrahim Abiriga, who belonged to the ruling party, was assassinated in June.


The government promises to review tax on social media

August 11th

A protest against a new tax on social media attracts large crowds in Kampala. Police are trying to stop the protesters, led by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as musician Bobi Wine, who is sitting as an independent member of parliament. Later in the day, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda announces that the government will review the tax introduced in early July. The decision meant that all users of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and others must pay 200 shillings a day to use the sites, if they did not pay, they could not reach their accounts.

Court approves to abolish age limit for president

July 26

The Constitutional Court rejects an attempt by the opposition to repeal the constitutional amendment from 2017, which meant that the age limit for the president was abolished. Most judges consider it appropriate to remove the 75-year-old age limit for presidential candidates. However, the Court rejects the parts that would reintroduce a restriction on how many terms a President can sit, nor does he agree to extend the mandate of Members of Parliament from five years to seven years.


Former ADF leader faces trial for mass murder

May 14

Jamil Mukulu, former leader of the Muslim ADF guerrilla, is facing, along with 34 other ADF members, facing charges of mass murder and crimes against humanity. He was arrested in Tanzania in 2015 and extradited to Uganda the following year. The ADF was formed in 1989 with the aim of forcing President Museveni out of power, as he was considered hostile to Muslims. Several rebel groups eventually joined the group that from 1995 and the 00s attacked villages in western Uganda. Among other things, the ADF is accused of massacre of students in Kichwamba. It is unclear which ideology governs the ADF, but governments in the area have linked the group to foreign jihadist groups. Mukulu claims his innocence and says that the abuse was perpetrated by the Ugandan government, which then blamed ADF for the death.


The court is reviewing whether constitutional amendment is valid

April 9

The Constitutional Court begins the consideration of the opposition’s attempt to overturn the constitutional change that was made in 2017, which means that the age limit for the president is abolished. MPs from the opposition, Uganda Law Society and several other organizations argue that the decision should be annulled because Parliament did not follow the procedures it would when the amendment was adopted (see December 2017). The court meets in the town of Mbale, this is the first time such a legal process is being conducted outside Kampala.


Free Trade Agreement in Africa

21 March

Uganda is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.

Opposition activists are arrested in Jinja

14th of March

Around 40 opposition activists from the FDC are arrested for a filling election in Jinja in the eastern part of the country. In 2016, Nathan Igeme Nabeta was elected from the NRM as the representative of the District Court in Parliament, but the Court of Appeal annulled the electoral victory due to cheating.

Museveni dismisses the national police chief

4th of March

President Museveni dismisses the country’s National Police Chief Kale Kayihura and Minister of Security Henry Tumukunde. Kayihura, a former general who has been in the post since 2005, has recently ended up on a collision course with Museveni. Under his leadership, it is considered that the police force has been politicized, which is also organized more like military units. However, criticism has been directed at him for increasing security shortcomings. The unsolved murder of Felix Kaweesi, which many had assumed would take over the leadership of the police after Kayihura, and a number of other serious crimes contributed to this. The police force is accused of incompetence and corruption, and Museveni has claimed that the police force has been infiltrated by criminals. Several high ranking police officers have been arrested by the Internal Security Organization (ISO) following allegations of both torture and corruption.


Five are shut down after suspicions of embezzlement of aid

February 8

Uganda suspends five people accused of embezzling aid money intended for refugees. One of those suspended is a commissioner who has worked in the president’s office in charge of refugee issues. The government promises that the allegations will be investigated, but the EU has also announced that it will conduct its own investigation. There are approximately 1.4 million refugees in Uganda, most of them from South Sudan and Congo-Kinshasa.

Academic schools are reopened

February 5

Some 60 schools run by Bridge International Academies, supported by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg foundations, will open again. They were closed after a court ruling in 2016. The schools were then criticized by the authorities for not hiring teachers, lacking curricula and more.


Red Peppers editors are pardoned by the president

January 24th

President Museveni pardons eight editors and managers within the Red Pepper group who in 2017 were first indicted for “high treason” (see November 2017) and then for trying to damage the president’s reputation. To be pardoned, the defendants should have apologized to the nation for being more “professional” in the future. According to a press release from Red Pepper, the magazine will soon start relaunching.

Uganda Best Colleges and Universities