Uganda is a country of about 39 million people in East Africa. The country’s higher education system is one of the oldest in the region. Makerere University was a pioneer in formal open and distance learning (ODL) in higher education. 


School-age Population by Education Level1









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending 20141









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education
for the school year ending 20141









Percentage of female teachers in 1




Secondary (2014)


Tertiary (2011)



1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in March 2020


Literacy rate (2010)1




Adult (15+) literacy rate


Adult (15+) literacy rate



Economic Activity (2010)1




Adult (15+) economic activity


Adult (15+) economic activity



Political Decision Making (2014)1


Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament



Life expectancy (2012)1









1. COL gender country profile April 2015 


0.4 57.3
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



0.03 33.6
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



8.5 23.7
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1



1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in March 2020



The Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) work in Uganda is primarily in the areas of higher education, lifelong learning for farmers, teacher education and technical and vocational skills development. 

Higher Education

COL’s Higher Education initiative works to develop human resources for social and economic development across the Commonwealth. It supports higher education institutions and ministries in capacity building, policy development and curriculum reform. COL is working with the Busitema University to develop an institutional quality assurance policy. Learn more about the Higher Education initiative. 

Lifelong Learning for Farmers

COL’s Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) empowers farming communities through the use of open and distance learning (ODL) and flexible and blended learning. The L3F initiative has been active in Uganda for seven years. One of the key partners of the L3F programme in Uganda is the Agricultural Innovation System Brokerage Association (AGINSBA). AGINSBA developed the L3F Mobile Learning Platform, which has served as a strong community of practice and has contributed to upscaling L3F activities in Uganda and other East African countries. AGINSBA, in partnership with the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at Makerere University, is also developing high quality ODL resources for farmers. Approximately 17,000 famers have been reached through L3F learning resources, directly and indirectly, across 80 districts of Uganda. Learn more about the Lifelong Learning for Farmers initiative

Teacher Education

COL’s Teacher Education initiative focuses on providing training and continuous professional development opportunities to teachers to equip them to deliver quality education. As a part of the initiative, COL offers the Commonwealth Certificate for Teacher ICT Integration (CCTI), which prepares teachers to integrate a range of ICTs in the classroom to enhance students’ learning experience. In Uganda, thirty teachers have successfully completed the CCTI programme.

COL is also supporting the integration of Open Resources for English Language Teaching (ORELT) in Uganda. ORELT are learning materials collaboratively developed to support the classroom activities of teachers in junior secondary schools. They are open-content, multimedia resources in online and traditional text formats. A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of ORELT use in three schools in Uganda. More than 2,800 students were found benefiting from exposure to ORELT materials in the three schools. Learn more about the Teacher Education initiative

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

The Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD) initiative supports partners to harness technology so as to increase access to improved quality skills training. A key aspect of the programme is the capacity building of partner organisations in course design and materials development. In Uganda, Makerere University Business School is a member of COL’s INVEST Africa network, which is committed to increasing access to high quality, flexible and blended skills training in support of sustainable livelihoods.  Learn more about the Technical and Vocational Skills Development initiative


Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector.

COL's partners in Uganda include:

  • Agricultural Innovation System Brokerage Association
  • Busitema University
  • KampaBits
  • Kyambogo University
  • Makerere University
  • Ministry of Education and Sports
  • Siaya SEED Sainds and Credit Cooperative
  • Uganda Management Institute