Around 1907 Glasgow graduate and distinguished helminthologist Robert Thompson Leiper took part in the Egyptian Government's helminthological survey in Uganda, which enabled him to identify new species of parasitic worms found in elephants, contributing to his future ground-breaking discoveries.

The first Ugandan-born student to attend the University was Enid Lilian Weatherhead in 1926. She was born in Kampala around 1902 and was the daughter of clergyman Henry Walter Weatherhead, a missionary of the Church Missionary Society stationed in Uganda between 1896 and 1912. He set up and headed one of the first centres of higher learning in Uganda in 1906, the prestigious King's College Budo.

It was not until after the Second World War when links with Uganda were given greater impetus. The University of Glasgow became involved in the development of the University of East Africa in 1963 to serve the newly independent countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

When Makerere College, Kampala, one of the oldest universities in Africa established in 1922, became part of that new University, it gained the power to confer its own degrees. Cananda-born Glasgow graduate, William Dawson Lamont, was among the first to be awarded an honorary DPhil. Lamont, who had been a lecturer of Moral Philosophy at the University, was appointed Principal of Makerere College from 1946 to 1949.

Many other staff and students continued their association with Uganda, either travelling out there on secondment or returning home: Uganda-born Brian Edmond Redshaw Kirwan served as Community Development Officer in Uganda, for which he was awarded an OBE in 1960; Entomologist Professor Alec Haddow went to Africa to carry out research at the Yellow Fever Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda, and was made Director of the Institute from 1953 to 1965.

The the mid-1960s a further 27 Uganda-born students attended the University, the majority of whom came to study Medical and Veterinary Science, reflecting the close academic ties that still exist between the countries.