Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador ( Ecuador) The PUCE Turns 76 Leaving Its Mark On History

The Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) on November 4 commemorates its 76 years of institutional life. A journey full of sacrifice and resilience leads us to discover its history and the teachings embodied since it emerged.

In 1946, in a small and very modest place, on Bolívar street, in the historic center of Quito, the PUCE was born. With the vision of Father Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, SJ , Father Julio Tobar Donoso SJ , and Archbishop Carlos María de la Torre , the first private university in Ecuador was launched.

The PUCE begins with the Faculty of Jurisprudence . In a narrow classroom, but with big dreams, the first 54 students emerge. Four years later, the Faculty of Economics is created . Then that of Civil Engineering and, later, others were added.

In 1963, Pope John XXIII granted the Catholic University of Ecuador the title of Pontifical, thus giving the name that this institution of higher education carries today.

Undoubtedly, the beginnings of the university were not easy, they were marked by the political and social environments in which the implementation of new ideas in education was not seen as an alternative. However, in the government of José María Velasco Ibarra , the establishment of private universities is authorized through decree no. 128, of July 2, 1946, with which legal freedom was given for the creation of the Catholic University.

The PUCE was growing. That large house on Calle Bolívar, no.343, made available by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts , was no longer enough to maintain the classrooms, offices and the library.

In 1954, Miss Leonor Heredia Bustamante donated two plots of land with an area of ​​five and a half hectares to the university, as well as houses and three million sucres. Thanks to this support, the Catholic University moves to its new facilities on Av.12 de Octubre, where today the main campus is located.

Casona. Located on Ladrón de Guevara street and 12 de Octubre Av.
This is how this center of higher education makes its way. Marking its institutional philosophy, which is based on offering comprehensive and integrating training, with strong roots in Christian humanism and in the teachings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola that invite you to be more, to serve better.

Dreams are not fulfilled, they are worked! After years of effort, the PUCE begins its project with the creation of headquarters, Ibarra is its first objective. In 1976, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador Sede Ibarra (PUCE-SI) ) opened its doors to 150 students. In addition, he inaugurates his new career in Administration and Higher Accounting .

PUCE currently has seven branches and 10 campuses in Ambato , Esmeraldas , Santo Domingo , Manabí and Lago Agrio (Amazon branch). The latter was inaugurated in 2021. 124 undergraduate courses, 85 postgraduate programs and 10 technologies are offered nationwide.

At the end of 2022, there are more than 26,000 students nationwide and there are more than 65,000 alumni since 1946.

Based on the Ignatian philosophy, PUCE is the first university in the country to implement the development of community contribution projects , without this being a degree requirement.

The university has encouraged the participation of its students in this type of project since its inception and as part of its philosophy. All this decades before the Government established it as a requirement.

In addition, it presented more than 1,000 scientific articles indexed in the Scopus, Scimago and Journal Rank databases between 2015 and 2020. PUCE leads the development of biological sciences in Ecuador. It focuses its efforts on understanding biodiversity and on analyzing evolutionary, molecular, and use aspects of our biological resources.

All efforts have been added to make PUCE the number one in academic reputation in Ecuador, recognition granted by the QS World University Rankings 2023 .

Likewise, PUCE is in the Top 25 of the Performing Universities in International Joint Publications , of the European Multidimensional Ranking (U-Multirank), for international joint publications and is the First position in Ecuador in Scimago Institutions Rankings.

On Wednesday, November 9, 2022, the tribute will be held for the 76 years of institutional life of the PUCE. In addition, the 2022 Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Prize for Literature will be awarded and recognition of the honoris causa who have left their mark on the history of the university.

In this way, the PUCE reaches its 76 years of service to the country and goes for many more, committed to the development of Ecuador through research and links with society.