Ecuador has spent $13.9 billion on university construction and education since 2006, the highest per capita expenditure in Latin America.
According to Ecuador’s Secretary of Higher Education (SENESCYT), Rene Ramírez, the government has built four national universities since 2006, upgraded the 11 existing public universities, provided almost 5,000 scholarships for students to study overseas, brought in more than 800 foreign professors and researchers to teach in Ecuador, and greatly increased enrollment of indigenous and disabled populations.
Ramírez reported that university enrollment increased from 28 percent of Ecuador’s high school graduates to 41 percent between 2006 and 2016 and that the number of university graduates who continued to graduate school rose by 40 percent.
During the same period, Ramírez said, the number of disabled students who attended public university increased from 525 to 24,241 while the number of indigenous students rose from 7,774 to 44,212.
In the past 10 years, according to Ramírez, Ecuador spent two percent of its GDP on higher education.