Collaboration with Makerere University

The collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Makerere University is one of the most comprehensive international collaborations at KI, ranging from education to research activities and the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health.

University leadership meeting
KI:s President Ole Petter Ottersen meets Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe from Makerere University at Aula Medica 2018. Photo: Monika Berge

Agreements confirming the partnership

The collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and the College of Health Sciences at Makerere University started in 2000 and was initially focused primarily on research. A Memorandum of Understanding as well as an agreement regarding doctoral education were signed in 2003. The cooperation expanded to exchange of students and teachers within several educational programmes. With time, an active alumni network of hundreds of healthcare professionals and researchers has grown and reflects the success of the collaboration.

Education and research collaboration

Exchange studies at undergraduate and master’s level

More than 300 students and teachers at both universities have taken part in exchange mobility since 2001, through scholarships from the Swedish Linnaeus-Palme programme, financed by Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation Sida, KI travel grants, funding raised by alumni and the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.

Doctoral education

In 2003, the universities established a collaborative doctoral programme. The collaboration has been financed through the Sida Research Training Partnership Programme 2001-2022, and has resulted in more than 40 PhD graduates and more than 500 peer reviewed articles.

Research collaboration

Over the last 20 years, KI and Makerere have collaborated closely in research areas such as HIV, sexual and reproductive health, infant care, malaria, tuberculosis, global health, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and mental health. 

Agenda 2030 Sustainable development
Photo: Getty Images

Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health (CESH)

To further deepen the collaboration, the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health (CESH).  The virtual Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health is dedicated to developing capacity and mobilisation of actions permeated by the UN’s 2030 Agenda. The Centre is based on the longstanding cooperation between the two universities and their extensive experience and holistic perspective of health. By working together, the two universities hope to achieve sustainable gains in health and well-being and transform how research and policies are formulated and conducted.


Monika Berge-Thelander

International Coordinator