New Member Spotlight: Universidad San Francisco de Quito
February 12, 2020

We are delighted to welcome Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) as one of the most recently added members of APRU. We welcome Rector Carlos Montúfar and his colleagues to our association and look forward to a valuable and productive partnership.

Founded in 1988, USFQ is the first private university of Ecuador.


USFQ has ten academic colleges with approximately 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 80 countries (including 500 indigenous students and 1,000 international students annually), and 967 teachers and staff. The USFQ main campus in the Cumbayá valley next to Quito features a hospital, specialized dentistry clinic, six restaurants, and the largest academic library in Ecuador with 1 million titles. USFQ has much-noted research stations in the Galapagos Islands (GAIAS) and in the Amazon Rainforest (Tiputini Biodiversity Station). There are plans to expand operations in the Cloud Forest and the Coast of Ecuador. Reflecting USFQ’s research prowess, it is ranked #1 in Ecuador and #51 in Latin America in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.

“USFQ’s research center in the Galapagos Islands provides a unique site for research in the life sciences while the Tiputini Biodiversity Station is located in the most biodiverse places on the planet, so I am sure that professors from APRU member universities will be interested and find value in going to Ecuador or developing joint courses,” said APRU Secretary General, Dr Christopher Tremewan.

USFQ Rector Montúfar thanked APRU for the formal invitation to join, pointing out that it aligns perfectly with USFQ’s core strategy of expanding internationalization at home. Specifically, USFQ aims to develop new research partnerships, joint research and grant proposals, as well as new curriculum that includes international components. USFQ furthermore plans to increase the number of visiting faculty to USFQ through the development of joint courses led by a USFQ professor and an international partner.

“APRU offers an exciting opportunity for USFQ. A young, research oriented and private liberal arts University,  seldom has this window to the frontiers of education and innovation. Strategically located in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, it offers APRU researchers and students a new dimension to current world challenges. We look forward to an increasing number of joint projects bringing to this region fresh insights like those of previous travellers such  as Humboldt and Darwin. Exciting times lie ahead!” Said Dr. Carlos Montufar Phd., USFQ President.

“It is with great promise that we join such a prestigious network of Universities. Our role is to bring the Latin American perspective to ensure the Health of the Pacific Rim that ties us all together.” Said Alexandra Velasco MBA., Strategic partners and innovation for internationalization.

APRU also welcomes Senior International Officer, Alexandra Velasco, Faculty lead programs and Deputy Director: Alex Rendón, and Research and partnership opportunities, Director for International Relations, Mateo Saenz.

Please find additional resources from USFQ below.

Research Stations:

USFQ is the only university in Ecuador with research stations in Galápagos, Tiputini, and we are currently looking for a partner for Mindo (tropical forest). Please take a look at the following links in order to find more information.

USFQ Basic Information

  • USFQ Brochure: You will be able to find information about USFQ areas of interests and classes students can take as undergraduate (here)
  • USFQ International Programs Office website (click here)
  • USFQ video: (click here)
  • USFQ Galápagos video: (click here)