Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
17th Apr 2012

Ecuador shuts down 14 universities in quality campaign

In a far-reaching effort to overhaul its higher education system, Ecuador is shutting down 14 universities that the government determined did not meet basic academic standards. President Rafael Correa has made reforming Ecuador’s 71 universities (with 621,000 students) a key priority, saying that “Ecuador probably has the worst universities” in South America. The government said it would take a year to close the schools, allowing about 10,000 students who are in their final year of studies to graduate (there is a total of approximately 38,000 students in the affected schools). Most of the remaining students will be given the chance to transfer to other academic programmes. The New York Times reported last month that 26 universities were given warning to make major improvements. Government efforts began in earnest in late 2009 when they conducted an evaluation of the country’s universities, grading them from A to E.

Additional moves to enhance quality

Furthermore, this year admission to the country’s 29 public universities, which have about 70 percent of all students, will be based on an aptitude test for the first time ever. The government is also seeking to improve the quality of teaching. By 2017, all professors must have at least a master’s degree, and many will be required to have a doctoral degree. Some educators say the goals are too ambitious. Only three universities in Ecuador give PhD’s and they grant a total of about 20 a year, according to René Ramírez, the government secretary of higher education, science, technology and innovation.

The study abroad solution

In part to increase the pool of qualified professors, the government has embarked on an ambitious scholarship programme. A few years ago, the country gave scholarships for postgraduate study abroad to about 20 students a year. Last year, 1,070 students got the scholarships. This year, Ramírez expects that number to exceed 3,000. Students who get the scholarships agree to return to Ecuador when their studies are finished and remain for at least twice the time the government paid for them to be abroad. The government hopes they will become university professors or work in the private sector. In the last 20 years, a cottage industry was born around the creation of small, privately operated universities. With virtually no regulation, the quality of these schools was often very low - although the profits could be quite high. They earned the name “garage universities” because the worst ones were a long way from having the facilities and academic resources of more established schools. Source: The New York Times

Most Recent

  • Survey reveals students’ views on AI in study search and admissions Read More
  • US increases visa handling capacity in India Read More
  • International education a focal point of debate in Australia as the prospect of further regulation looms Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Survey reveals students’ views on AI in study search and admissions IDP’s Emerging Futures is one of those larger student surveys that is always worth paying attention to, and...
Read more
US increases visa handling capacity in India American universities and colleges are being supported by their federal government in ramping up their competitive offer to...
Read more
International education a focal point of debate in Australia as the prospect of further regulation looms It didn’t take long for Australian schools and universities to recover their international student numbers once Australia’s border...
Read more
Is Canada losing ground as a preferred destination for Indian students? A featured panel at the annual Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) conference in Vancouver this week raised...
Read more
How is Indian student mobility changing in 2023? The shape of outbound mobility from India has changed over the course of 2023, with the UK and...
Read more
International enrolment in Canadian K-12 recovered to more than 80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022/23 Canada’s K-12 public schools enrolled just over 33,000 foreign students in 2022/23. That total includes nearly 29,000 in...
Read more
Impact of UK’s dependant visa policy shows as nearly half of business schools miss targets In what appears to be an early signal of the impact of an important change to UK visa...
Read more
US: New coalition pushes for coordinated national strategy for international education Of the leading destinations for study abroad, only the US does not have an official international education strategy....
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links