New Cuenca arts university will open in old high school at Pumapungo complex

Mar 28, 2017 | 1 comment

Cuenca will finally get its arts university.

When the government decided to build five new national universities in 2009, Cuenca was the first choice for the University of the Arts. Eventually, however, the university was located in Guayaquil after it was decided that the national educational university would be built in Azogues, 16 miles north of Cuenca.

The Old Rafael Borja school at Pumapungo.

The new Cuenca university will be the first of several regional arts institutions that the ministry of higher education has decided to establish. It will be located in the old Escuela Rafael Borja, behind the Banco Central and Pumapuungo Museum. Part of the site is currently occupied by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra, which will become a teaching component of the university.

The José María Rodríguez music conservatory, currently located in the historic district and adminstered by the higher education ministry, will also relocate to the new university.

According to Jonathan Koupermann, provincial director of Ecuador’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the symphony and music conservatory will provide the university with a musical focus. “With the new facilities, we anticipate that Cuenca will be a center of learning for students interested in music. We see this as seedbed for musical talent,” he said.

Koupermann added that the new university will also provide education in other arts, including dance, painting and sculpture.

Due to its proximity to the Pumapungo museum and cultural complex, the new university will have access to the 700-seat Pumapungo Theater and other facilities on the grounds, which once served as the administrative and ceremonial center for the Inca and Cañar civilizations.

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