WPI and Ecuadoran University Sign Agreement to Send Students to WPI

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. -- An agreement that will send some of the best undergraduate and graduate students from a university in Guayaquil, Ecuador to WPI to study was signed recently by administrators of the two universities. The Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL) Instituto de Ciencias, Humanisticas y Economics (ICHE) signed an articulation agreement with WPI to send up to 15 students per year to complete their last two years of study at WPI. They also may send up to 10 students per year to earn graduate degrees in either an MBA program, or in Operations and Information Technology, or Marketing & Technological Innovation.

Similar agreements exist between ESPOL and the University of Notre Dame and the London School of Economics, says McRae C. Banks II, professor and Management Department head at WPI. "We're delighted to be part of this program and the site of the various management disciplines," he says. "Typically only ESPOL's top students are eligible for this program. They are being groomed for top positions in government, education, and business."

Two alumni of WPI head significant programs at ESPOL. Edgar Izquierdo is director of a new academic program for the university and Victor Hugo Gonzalez is associate director of ICHE. A current student, Jorge Duque-Rivera, is the planning and budget officer for ESPOL.

Omar Maluk Salem, director of ICHE, notes that "ESPOL fully expects the WPI graduates from Ecuador to be "fast trackers" rising to the top of their chosen professions."

This is the not the first time WPI has worked with ESPOL. In 1992 WPI was part of a five-year $500,000 U.S. Agency for International Development program that promoted linkages between institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and developing countries.

An extension to that program was granted this past fall. Four ESPOL students were educated under that initial program. The three mentioned above, (Gonzalez and Izquierdo received MSM degrees, while Ramos earned a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering) and a fourth, Jorge Duque-Rivera, is a Ph.D. student working on his dissertation in WPI's Management Department.

Photo: From left are McRae C. Banks II, Harry G. Stoddard Professor and WPI Management Department head, WPI Provost John F. Carney III, and ICHE Director Omar Maluk Salem.