The Ecuadorian Study Abroad Market

In this market report on Ecuador we will cover socio-economic, educational and mobility trends. In recent years, more and more students have been leaving Ecuador for studies abroad. At this point 23,327 students are studying overseas. Compared to 2010 UNESCO reports an increase of nearly 50%. This increase is partly explained by the Ecuadorian government pumping cash into the education system, including into various scholarship funds. Right now, students eyeing overseas studies have more financial options than in the past, with several new offerings from SENESCYT.

Examples are:
• Programa Convocatoria Abierta – funds one to five years of master’s and doctorate.
• Universidades de Excelencia (Universities of Excellence) – life sciences, natural sciences, and social science fields.
• Enseña Inglés (ELT) program

In Ecuador, like in Brazil and Colombia, the ELT market gaining momentum due to internationalization ambitions. All this and more in the Market Report on Ecuador.

Quick facts

  • Population: 17.6 million (2020)

  • Education: 12 years compulsory

  • Academic year: September – June

Secondary education

  • Starting age: 12

  • Duration: 6 years (3 years lower secondary, 3 years upper secondary education)

  • Enrollment numbers: 1.9 million (2019)
    Enrollment rate: 102%

Higher education

  • Duration: 4 – 6 years (bachelor) – 1 – 2 years (Master) – 3 – 6 years (PhD)

  • Enrollment numbers: 670,000 (2019)

  • Tertiary enrollment rate: 45%

  • Universities / Institutions: 315 (153 state funded, 144 private, 18 dual funded)

Ecuadorian Education System

Formal education is categorized into 4 levels: a preprimary, primary, secondary school and higher education. . Education is compulsory for children aged between 6-14. The language of education is Spanish. The Ministry of Education mandates all the educational programs except for higher education which is administered by a national technical council.

Secondary education

The system comprises 3 types of education: Educación Inicial, Educación General Básica (EGB) and Educación General Unificado (EGU).

Educación inicial is the primary school phase.

Educación General Básica (EGB)
Educación General Básica (general basic education) has a nominal duration of 10 years and is intended for pupils aged 5-14. The basic curriculum is set by law, and consists of 9 subjects for grades (grado) 1-10:

Educación General Unificado (EGU)
This type of education, also known as Bachillerato General Unificado (BGU), takes 3 years and is intended for children aged 15-17.

Upon completion of the secondary education programme, pupils receive a Bachiller en Ciencias or Bachiller Técnico certificate.

Admission to higher education

Admission to the Ecuadorian higher education system requires a secondary school diploma: Bachiller en Ciencias or Bachiller Técnico.
(source: Nuffic)

Higher Education education

The Ecuadorian education system comprises the following types of institutions:

  • Universidades (universities);
  • Escuelas politécnicos (polytechnical schools);
  • Institutos Superiores (higher institutes)

Higher education is offered by both private and public institutions.

Bachelor /Pregrado
The bachelor stage is called Pregrado. Pregrado programs take 4 to 6 years to complete. Upon completion the degree of Licenciado is awarded.

Postgraduate / Posgrado programs
Posgrado programs offer 3 different qualifications:

  • especialista: specialization in the bachelor phase
  • magíster: Master program
  • doctorado: Doctoral program
Ecuadorian Educational System

Latest Ecuadorian Higher Education study abroad stats

At this point a total number of 23,327 students from Ecuador are studying abroad for a degree in higher education. The most popular study abroad destinations are:

Ecuadorian students studying abroad
UNESCO study abroad data

IB schools in Ecuador

Upcoming education fairs in Ecuador

Scholarships for Ecuadorian students

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