Higher education in Uganda is offered at the universities and other tertiary institutions, which admit those with six years of secondary education. The universities offer degree and diploma courses, while the tertiary institutions offer certificate and diploma courses.
Higher education has grown significantly since the early 1990s, with enrolments increasing by about 90 percent to date. At least there are five public universities and 17 private universities in the country.
However, transition rates are still low. Out of the 12,000 students who qualify for university education each year, just about 25 per cent of them get admission. Makerere University, the oldest in East Africa takes the bulk of these, while the others are absorbed in the other public and private universities.
In 2001, the government enacted the university and other tertiary institutions Act which provides the legal basis for the development and management of higher education. The Act led to the establishment of the National Council for Higher Education, which is responsible for accreditation of universities, setting academic standards and maintaining quality assurance for all higher education institutions in the country.