There are over 70 higher education institutions in Ecuador. These are composed of public and private universities, technical colleges, polytechnic schools and teacher education colleges. Public institutions are funded by the state, whereas public institutions are solely reliant on tuition. Universities offer a wider range of programs than the other institutions which offer specialized degrees for students who aim to move directly from their degree to a working position. The University of San Francisco of Quito (Universidad de San Francisco de Quito) is ranked 57th in the QS Latin America University Rankings in 2018. For more information, please refer to the official government website: https://www.educacionsuperior.gob.ec/.
The educational structure in Ecuador follows the traditional path of a Bachelor’s, followed by a Master’s and then a Doctorate. Bachelor’s generally last 4 years. Master’s take two year sto complete and a Doctorate takes between 3 to 6 years to complete. Students are required to pass an entrance exam when applying to a public university, which 70% of students apply to. This test is an aptitude test rather than a knowledge-based test. International students are required to have a secondary school diploma which is recognized by the Ministry of Education, such as an International Baccalaureate. Master’s students are required to have obtained a Bachelor’s in the past, and prospective Doctoral students are required to have acquired a Master’s degree.
There is no centralized body of administration for application, meaning that students must apply directly to their desired institution of study. The official language of instruction is Spanish meaning that students will usually be required to illustrate proof of their proficiency in the Spanish language when applying if they are non-native speakers.
Tuition fees at public universities have been eliminated in Ecuador since 2008. Private universities’ tuition cost vary though on average students are required to pay 5’000$ per year of tuition.
Information for International Students
International students require a student visa in order to study in Ecuador. However, the visa fee is waived from students from Spain, Germany, Columbia, Paraguay and the United States. Some student housing is available, however many students and universities opt for homestays for international students.