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Universidad San Francisco de Quito

20th anniversary logo - Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Motto Studium, Progressus, Labor
Motto in English Study, Progress, Work
Established 1987
Type Private University
Principal Santiago Gangotena
President Carlos Montufar
Staff 600
Students about 5,000
Undergraduates 3,500
Location Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Coordinates: 0°11′46″S 78°26′08″W / 0.19611°S 78.43556°W / -0.19611; -78.43556
Campus 4 throughout Ecuador, in Cumbayá-Quito, Galapagos, Riobamba, and Tiputini
Umbrella organization Corporación de Promoción Universitaria

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is an Ecuadorian private non-profit liberal-arts university. Founded in 1988 by the Corporación de Promoción Universitaria (CPU)--its umbrella non-profit foundation, USFQ was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador. USFQ has a strong academic reputation, and in 2009 it was ranked 1st in Ecuador in relation to the number of peer-reviewed scientific publication[1][2]. USFQ employs about half of all PhDs in Ecuador. USFQ was officially recognised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Ecuador on October 1995 and accredited by CONESUP on May 2001 [3]. Today, USFQ is arranged into sixteen Colleges of Study and Academic Institutes, spread across three campuses in mainland Ecuador (Cumbayá-Quito, Riobamba, and Tiputini) and one in Insular Ecuador at the Galapagos Islands (GAIAS-The Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts & Sciences)[4].



Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, so named in honour of the capital city of Ecuador, Quito, was founded in 1988 in response to the need of a high-quality private higher education institution in Ecuador. Its creation was promoted by the non-profit organization Corporación de Promoción Universitaria, a NGO founded by important Ecuadorian scientists and businesspeople and recognised in 1985 by the Ecuadorian Government.

USFQ opened on 1 September 1988 in a mansion located on Ave. 12 de Octubre 1983 and Salazar street, in the northern area of the city of Quito. It started with 130 students distributed on three colleges: College of Business, College of Applied Sciences, and College of Communications and Culture. On September 1990, the College of Environmental Sciences started. USFQ was officially recognised by the Ecuadorian government on October 1995 under Executive Decree 3166 of 18 October 1995, published in Official Registry 809 of 25 October 1995. The statutes of USFQ were approved by CONESUP (Consejo Nacional de Educación Superior) on 18 May 2001.

On September 1992, a new plan of colleges was established, with 6 academic units: College of Business, College of Communications and Arts, College of Environmental Sciences, College of Applied Sciences, College of Liberal Arts (originally named of Social Sciences and Humanities), and College of Languages. Subsequently, the College of Architecture (1993), the College of Health Sciences, and the College of Agriculture (1994) were opened.

USFQ and its professors have played a part in scientific and social advances in Ecuador, through extending higher education to indigenous people; by offering scholarships to over 40% of its students; by opening academic units specifically focused on working people and in different regions of Ecuador, such as Galapagos; and through health, environmental, and social programmes[5]. Perhaps the most famous scholarly researches performed at USFQ are the work by Bruce Hoeneisen at the D0 Experiment and the genetic studies at the Institute of Microbiology[6], which include revolutionary discoveries about Rotavirus and Leptospira. In addition, USFQ has played a major role in many contributions to the conservation of biodiversity, including the discovery and description of a new genus of frog, Nymphargus, the first animal-genus described by Ecuadorian scientists, the publication of the book on Important Bird Area of Ecuador[7][8].

Currently, USFQ’s student body numbers in the neighbourhood of 5,900, including 3,800 4-year undergraduates, 920 3-year students of the technology college, 700 international students from 40 countries (300 is the average number from the U.S.), and 200 graduate students.

Mission statement

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is a private liberal arts institution that promotes the quest for knowledge, individual liberties, and the entrepreneurial spirit as a means for the development of Ecuadorian society through excellence in teaching, supported by qualified and committed faculty, comprehensive and rigorous curricula, and adequate resources.

Goodness, beauty, and truth are the guiding principles under which the university was created. USFQ students shall have instilled in them a passion for learning, love for justice, and the need for freedom in order to be citizens of the world objectively celebrating differences and strongly promoting free enterprise as a means for a better future.

Colleges within the university

USFQ was the first liberal arts institution in the Andean region. Today the university offers Associates’, Bachelors’, and Masters’ degrees in the following colleges:

  • COLEGIO DE ADMINISTRACION PARA EL DESARROLLO (College of Business Administration)
  • COLEGIO DE AGRICULTURA, ALIMENTOS Y NUTRICION (College of Agriculture, Foods & Nutrition)
  • COLEGIO DE ARQUITECTURA Y DISEÑO INTERIOR (College of Architecture and Interior Design)
  • COLEGIO DE ARTES LIBERALES (College of Liberal Arts)
  • COLEGIO DE CIENCIAS BIOLOGICAS Y AMBIENTALES (College of Biological and Environmental Sciences)
  • COLEGIO DE CIENCIAS DE LA SALUD (College of Health Sciences)
  • COLEGIO DE CIENCIAS POLICIALES (College of Police Sciences)
  • COLEGIO DE COMUNICACION Y ARTES CONTEMPORANEAS (College of Communication and Contemporary Arts)
  • COLEGIO DE HOSPITALIDAD, ARTE CULINARIO Y TURISMO (College of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Tourism)
  • COLEGIO DE JURISPRUDENCIA (College of Jurisprudence)
  • COLEGIO DE CIENCIAS E INGENIERÍA (EL POLITÉCNICO) (College of Science and Engineering - the Polytechnic)
  • COLEGIO MAYOR DE EDUCACIÓN CONTINUA (College of Continuing Education)

USFQ offers 46 undergraduate programs, 16 “tecnología” (community college) programs, 14 graduate programs, and various training and postgraduate programs.

Miscellaneous facts

  • 400 students participate in the mandatory community service program every semester.
  • USFQ offers approximately 1500 different courses every semester.
  • USFQ is a completely tuition-driven institution and receives no funding from the government of Ecuador.
  • The University has a dental and medical clinic that serve the local community.
  • The USFQ library has the only open-stack facility and the largest collection in the country. It also features complete on-line library services.
  • USFQ has 195 full-time faculty and 465 part-time.
  • USFQ employs about 100 terminal degree full time faculty, 70 of which hold a doctoral degree—70% of those are Ecuadorian nationals.
  • USFQ employs half of the Ph.D.s in Ecuador.
  • USFQ has formal collaborative agreements with over 100 universities in the U.S. and around the world.
  • USFQ has a satellite campus on the Galápagos Islands (GAIAS) where it offers full degrees, as well as specialized programs focused on biology and environmental studies.
  • USFQ manages, in conjunction with Boston University, the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) in the Amazon Basin. TBS holds record numbers for biodiversity; it is the most diverse place for amphibians in the planet, with 121 species. In the February 1999 issue of National Geographic, journalist Virginia Morell called TBS "the most remarkable place" after visiting several sites around the world in order to write a series of articles on biodiversity.
  • Rafael Correa, Ecuador's most recently elected president, taught economic theory there.

External links


Coordinates: 0°11′46″S 78°26′08″W / 0.19611°S 78.43556°W / -0.19611; -78.43556



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