In pursuit of the goals set in the Makerere University Strategic Plan 2008/2009-2018/2019, the University initiated actions aimed at transforming itself into a research-led institution. The formation of Colleges was one of the major reforms in the governance, financial and administrative structures of the University.
In January 2005, the University Council approved the College Statute as a guide to units in the formation of Colleges. In a further step to actualize this vision, the Makerere University Senate approved the formation of the College of Education and External Studies at its meeting held on 4 November 2010. The School of Education and Institute of Adult and Continuing Education were to merge to form the College of Education and External Studies.
In December 2010, the College of Education and External Studies was formed following the merger of the School of Education and Institute of Adult and Continuing Education. The College has three schools; School of Education, School of Distance and Lifelong Learning and the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development (EASHED); two Centres – Centre for Teaching and Learning Support (CTL) and Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL); and the Institute for Education Research which has been approved but not yet established.
The College of Education and External Studies offers 15 academic programmes, has a student body of 6000 students and over 100 academic staff.
CEES aspires to excel in the provision of professional educational approaches relevant to national and global needs. In the next decade, CEES plans to grow into an effective and efficient modern College with improved and relevant education, lifelong learning and external programmes; better access to higher education opportunities; increased research and innovations, an enabling environment for private and public sector interface; increased partnerships with communities; a sufficient well trained and motivated staff and an improved academic and social environment of staff and students.