Higher Education in Ecuador

During the 1998-1999 school year, almost 235,000 students were enrolled in institutions of higher education, or approximately 14% of the population between 18-24 years old. Approximately 80% attend public universities while the other 20% attend private universities. The Central University of Ecuador, National Polytechnic School and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito account for more than 60% of enrollments. The graduation rate at public universities is rarely more than 15%.

Major Universities in Quito
National Polytechnic School

National Polytechnic School (Spanish: Escuela Politécnica Nacional), also known as EPN, is a public university located in Quito, Ecuador and is known for research and education in the applied science, astronomy, atmospheric physics, engineering and physical sciences. The Geophysics Institute monitors over the country`s seismic, tectonic and volcanic activity in the continental territory and in the Galápagos Islands.

EPN adopted the polytechnic university model that stresses laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.

One of the oldest observatories in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory. Founded in 1873 and located 12 minutes south of the Equator in Quito, Ecuador. The Quito Astronomical Observatory is the National Observatory of Ecuador and is located in the Historic Center of Quito and is managed by the National Polytechnic School.

The Nuclear Science Department at EPN is the only one in Ecuador and has the large infrastructure, related to irradiation facilities like cobalt-60 source and electron beam processing.

Universidad San Francisco de Quito, USFQ main campus is located in Cumbayá, outside of Quito, where students use a library, education and research laboratories, classrooms, and seven restaurants. USFQ is the only university in the world that owns a campus in the Galapagos Islands, and a campus in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (Tiputini Biodiversity Station), one of Earth's most biodiverse area.

Central University of Ecuador
The Central University of Ecuador (Spanish: Universidad Central del Ecuador) is a national university located in Quito, Ecuador. It is the oldest university in Ecuador, established in 1826 and one of the oldest in the Americas. The enrollment is over 10,000 students per year.

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) (English:Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador) is a Pontifical Catholic university located in Quito, Ecuador.