Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Mbarara University of Science and Technology also known as MUST was opened in October 1989 after extensive modification of physical facilities of the former School of Midwifery at the Mbarara District hospital.  The Mbarara University of Science and Technology Statue 1989 as passed by the National Resistance Council was the enabling law that established MUST as  a body corporate. At that time Uganda’s economy and social infrastructure which had collapsed, due to  civil wars in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Therefore, with the government’s realization that higher education was a critical asset for nation building, and in particular that Science and Technology was the most realistic driver to lead this initiative, MUST was therefore a welcome idea and has to date lived to that expectation.

Overcoming several set up challenges the new Vice Chancellor Professor Frederick I.B Kayanja, in collaboration with 4 Cuban professors started the pioneer Faculty of Medicine opening its gates to the first 43 students admitted to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) program. Since October 28th, 1989 MUST has seen many community innovations, which have contributed to its development and that of our motherland Uganda. It has grown from a single Medical faculty university serving a student population of 43 to two faculties of Science and Development Studies and two institutes of Computer Science and Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) which is based in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with a population of 3,508 as of January 2012. To attain this level of educational progress has been no small feat.

In May 2012, the University finally unveiled and commissioned the much talked about move to a spacious campus at Kihumuro located 7 km on Mbarara- Bushenyi road with the commissioning of the Estates and works Block and handing over the site for the construction of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology bringing to fruition the whole spectrum of this great University of Science and Technology.


The Governing Structure of the University.

The Chancellor

• The Chancellor is the titular head of the University
• presides at all graduation ceremonies of the University
• in the name of the University, confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University
• May at any time, on the direction of the Visitor, cause a visitation of the University to be conducted, for the purpose specified in the directive.
The current University chancellor: Professor Peter Mugyenyi

The University Council

• the supreme organ of the University, responsible for the overall administration
• Council ensures due implementation of the objectives and functions of the University
• is established in accordance with the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001, and has five committees, namely:
- Finance and General Purpose Committee
- Planning and Development Committee
- Estates and Works Committee
- Appointments Board
- Students’ Welfare and Disciplinary Committee

Chairpersons of Council since inception

1st Council chair  Hon. Rebecca Kadaga  1989 –

2nd Council chair Professor Gilbert Bukenya and Professor Peter Mugenyi
3rd Council chair Mr. James Tumusiime
4th Mr. James Tumusiime
5th Dr. Ben Mbonye -Present

The Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University
The Vice Chancellor is assisted by one Deputy Vice Chancellor

1st Vice Chancellor, Prof. I. B. Kayanja

Current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Celestino Obua


The University Senate

• Responsible for organization, control and direction of academic matters of the University i.e. in charge of teaching, research and general standards of education and assessment.
• Senate members are drawn from the academic staff, senior administrative staff, non-academic staff, the public, students and appointees of the Minister of Education and Sports.

Top Management Committee

• Overseas the day-to-day running of the University. 
• chaired by the Vice Chancellor,
• Composed of the top administrators of the University, and the Executive Director of the teaching hospital.

Faculty/ Institute  Boards

• Each faculty / Institute has a board chaired by the Dean or Director in case of the Institute
• The decisions made at the faculty level, feed into Top Management Committee, Senate and University Council, in that order. In order to sustain and strengthen the link with the teaching hospital

The Contracts Committee

• as required by the Public Procurement and disposal of Public assets Act 2003
•  The committee is made up of five members, including a lawyer from the office of the Solicitor General, and handles the university procurements.
• The committee works hand in hand with the University procurement unit, to ensure fairness, transparency and value for money in the procurement process.

Our partners and Donor Support

Mbarara University of Science and Technology has over the years collaborated with both local and international partners including government and donor agencies. The collaborations cover areas of research, staff exchange, capacity building and infrastructure development support. MUST collaborators include;
  - The Federal Republic of Cuba
  - The Netherlands Government
  - Germany Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD)
  - The French Government
  - Bank of Uganda
  - United States of America
  - United Kingdom
  - Indian Government
  - Nigerian Government
  - Canadian Government
  - Swedish Government
  - The Association of Commonwealth Universities
  - Inter-university Council for East Africa
  - Harvard University
  - Massachusetts General Hospital
  - Bristol University
  - Makerere University
  - African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD)
  - The Government of Japan


Mbarara University has a number of collaborations already running.

These include among others;


UVA-MUST Research Collaboration

MUST-SIDA Scholarship Project

AfDB-HEST Project

National Conference on communications(NCC) 2016


In line with the mission of the University which is to provide quality and relevant education at national and international level with particular emphasis on Science and Technology and its application to community development.

The University has engaged in different community outreached programs in order to achieve its mission.

These include;

Leadership and Community Placement(LCP) 

Community peace and Conflict resolution

Towards ICT Awareness in police and security forces

STEM for Girls

Grand Challenges - Canada M-Health Project

More information about these programs can be found with in this section.

LCP Course Background

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) was established in 1989, with the explicit aim of developing a curriculum which would facilitate the interaction between the local communities, University lecturers and students, to make them more directed towards the prevailing and emerging needs within Uganda and beyond. MUST continue to tailor its curriculum towards the emerging health and health care needs and demands.  Recent evidence from MSH reveals that unless Universities champion production of health managers who lead, through embracing leadership training that incorporates the challenge model, health problems and diseases will escalate to insurmountable proportions.  The 2010 Leadership and Community Placement (LCP) course was implemented to pilot this new approach. 

The LCP course carried out in the fourth year of study emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and addressing of health care challenges in community settings practically. The course is geared towards instilling leadership knowledge and skills essential for confronting the health challenges of the 21st Century. Students are expected to gain the essential skills and tools required for playing a leadership role in their work environment. In addition to the grounding in primary health care, community diagnosis, health systems and family medicine, students are introduced to leadership and management. A cross cutting expected course output will be ‘health managers who lead’ for effective implementation of Primary Health Care and Uganda’s minimum health care package. It is also expected that students will have developed a positive attitude towards working in rural/community placements.

Course Objectives
The LCP Course is intended
• To introduce students to leadership and management in health and the tools required to identify the main health challenges within their area of influence
• To introduce students to the tools required to focus on priority areas for intervention
• To introduce the tools, skills and techniques required to create solid, logical and coherent action plans that guide students towards achieving measurable results
• To introduce the tools and techniques for aligning and mobilising populations to address health care challenges
• To introduce the tools, techniques and strategies for inspiring, and inspired, leadership, to address existing and future  health care challenges 
• To train students in communities and rural health units under conditions similar to those in which they will eventually work as qualified doctors.
• To enable students and community members to interact and learn from each other in order to appreciate each other’s role in health care and delivery.

A brief course description
A community placement is preceded by classroom-based sessions that employ interactive student-based learning methodologies, using group discussions and assignments, role-plays, case studies and to a lesser extent, lectures. The themes / topics covered include at least the following:

Theoretical and practical knowledge of scanning enables students to develop the necessary skills to understand and diagnose the current situation in health facilities and communities. This includes Leading & Managing for Results, Creating a Vision – Personal and Shared, Differentiation between a challenge and a problem, Introduction to the Challenge Model and practicing tools of scanning: Client Exit interviews, Focus Group Discussions / Interviews and Listening.

Focusing builds on the capacity of teams to focus their energy and resources on priorities and results, and analysis of gaps between desired results and current situations. The teams apply the Challenge Model in a simple process that helps them work together to move from developing a shared vision to prioritising activities in an action plan, to achieving measurable results. Students fill their first drafts of their team Challenge Models, which they refine at their selected health facilities. The sessions, tool and exercises include: The Challenge Model, Sphere of Influence, Developing Measurable Results using the SMART Criteria, Stakeholder Analysis, Diagnosing Root Causes, Identifying priorities, Distinguishing between ‘Important’ and ‘Urgent’, Scanning of / for best practices and Choosing priority interventions.

Planning, Aligning and Mobilising
Planning, Aligning and Mobilising enables students to develop the skills, as individuals and teams, on how to consolidate successes, and approach challenges that are more difficult, with confidence. In addition to increasing their ability and capacity to work in teams, students will gain an increased familiarity and confidence in using Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) terminology. This course aspect includes the following tools, exercises and sessions: Developing Action Plans, Mobilisation of Stakeholders, Development of M & E Plans, Application of M & E to Action Plans, Coaching to support others, Gaining commitments, Roles in teamwork, Giving feedback and Making effective requests

This LCP Course aspect develops students’ understanding of and for the need to inspire other people and introduces ways to inspire. The exercises, tools and sessions applied in this module, include: Inspiring through building trust, Leading change, Leading through breakdowns, Preparing to present and Practicing presentations

Community-based activities
Students are placed within different host communities. Particular emphasis is on the needy hard to reach areas. They also reside at and participate with host health facilities. Students rotate and participate in the health facility based activities during the mornings and participate in understanding and addressing prevailing and emerging health problems within the communities during the afternoons where applicable, guided by the course guidelines. The students are required to at least learn and understand the constraints and opportunities that retard or promote good health in the community. They appreciate that communities have the potential to identify and provide solutions to many health problems. Their work should involve, but is not limited to the following broad areas: Health Systems, Child health, growth and development, Nutrition, Communicable disease control, Environmental sanitation, Obstetric and surgical care, Use and misuse of common drugs and health education. Together with host communities, students identify and prioritise community health and health care issues.  They carry out community meetings / seminars and home visits during and facilitate discussions on preventive aspects of health care. An added incentive is practicing within a Rural Health facility setting in order to understand constants of rural health and healthcare.

During the community-based activities phase, teams share with each other and with the host health-facility personnel what they learn throughout the process of implementing their Leadership Project. The course is assessed by MUST Faculty supervisors, in conjunction with Site Supervisors, who play the role of coaches / tutors to the teams and are expected to meet regularly with students, to review the LCP course content and to support progress. The MUST lecturer is expected to constantly follow up the performance of individuals and groups through writing a performance report at every visit. On finalising the community based activities students are expected to present a report, assessed by the Faculty that attracts marks that will feature prominently on the academic transcript. The coaches support student teams to prepare the final-results presentation.

LCP Course Core reading list
• Handout: Leadership Development Programme (LDP) Participants’ Handout
• MSH: Managers Who Lead. A Handbook for Improving Health Services. Cambridge, MA: Management Sciences for Health.
• On-line Support. LeaderNet, Electronic Resource Center and Health

Academic Registrar

P.O BOX 1410, 
Mbarara,  Uganda
Tel: +256 414 123 456
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Contacts / Addresses

Mbarara University of
Science and Technology
P.O BOX 1410, 
Mbarara,  Uganda

Tel:  +256-4854-21373
Fax:  +25648520782
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Mobile:  +256772662062

Mbarara University Kampala Liason Office 
Tel:  +256-414-533162


P.O BOX 1410, 
Mbarara,  Uganda
Tel: +256 414 123 456
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IT Help Desk

Computing Services Unit,

P.O BOX 1410, 
Mbarara,  Uganda
Tel: +256 414 123 456
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