Ecuador Catholic University to Expand Access to Lower-Income Students with $15 Million in Financing
Photo: Universidad Politecnica Salesiana, Ecuador
Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, a socially inclusive Catholic university in Ecuador, will get a $15 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance its expansion, including the construction of new buildings, purchase of equipment, and the creation of a student loan fund.
The IDB loan will help finance half of the total cost of the expansion plan, allowing the University to expand affordable high-quality education to an additional 5,000 students over the next three years, of which approximately 85 percent will receive significant discounts of fees, scholarships, and/or student financing.
Currently, the Salesian polytechnic university offers education services to approximately 18.000 students, the majority of them from middle and lower-income families, and from indigenous communities, in three campuses: Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil.
“The project will allow the University to have better infrastructure and equipment to improve the quality of its services, benefitting lower-income students who cannot gain entry to Ecuador’s free public universities due to fierce competition,’’ said Peter Stevenson, the project team leader at the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department.
Proceeds from the IDB loan will also be used to set up a $2 million student loan fund, which is being designed to be more favorable than current student loan offerings available in the market. Tuition costs for the existing and 5,000 additional students are on average only half of the cost for other private universities in the country.