LARGE SCALE INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGIES
In the period 2013-2017 the work of the institution will follow 4 interconnected large scale strategies:
- The Strategy of historical continuity.
- To be a fundamental ally of the State and of the business sectors in the design and implementation of large scale national projects.
- The Program of Excellence for Class “A” universities as promoted by National Government;
- The Campus Gustavo Galindo, a scientific-technological complex that links the research centers of ESPOL with YACHAY or the “city of knowledge”, and with the Special Economic Development Zone (ZEDE) in the technological sphere.
Strategy 1: Historical Continuity
Key factors in this strategy are:
a) The consolidation of the historical policies that have allowed ESPOL to occupy a privileged place in Ecuadorian Higher Education.
b) Equitable distribution of fiscal resources to bring about efficient development of functions, guarantee competitive remuneration of teachers, support staff and workers; and to ensure a greater than minimal distribution of the resources stipulated in the LOES (Law of Higher Education) and the regulations of CES, in particular resources for research, teacher training, student welfare, grants and financial aid, infrastructure for persons with disabilities, as specifically laid out in the POAS.
c) Optimization of mechanisms for self-generation of resources. This includes diversifying the offer of scientific and technical services, consolidating continuous education, and making use of the potential of consultancy services offered either directly by academic bodies and centers or through the medium of public companies. Such activities will consolidate the links between ESPOL and key actors in the integral development of Ecuador, including the public sector, private business, producers within those areas of the economy oriented towards the popular clases and solidarity initiatives, and civil society. At the same time, there will be a move towards teaching outreach and research outreach, which will bring about diversification and also improvement in the income of academic staff; this will also generate surplus funds to be invested in the development of ESPOL.
Strategy 2: To be a strategic partner of the public and private sectors
This strategy has two components. One of them is to redefine the relationship between ESPOL and the National Government as well as the Decentralized Autonomous Governments; the other is to diversify and deepen relations with the productive sector.
With regard to the public sector and specifically Central Government, ESPOL has both the competence and expertise to contribute to the objectives of the regime of development as set out in the Constitution; of the Sustainable Endogenous Strategy set out in the National Plan for Good Living; the Intersectorial Policies of the Ministry of Coordination of Strategic Sectors (MCSE); and of the Special Economic Development Zone, in the Technological area, as set out in the Organic Code of Production, Trade and Investment.
The strategic planning of ESPOL considers these four areas to be fundamental for Ecuador in the twenty-first century, since taken together they constitute a roadmap for transforming the productive, energy and social models.
ESPOL, through its degree courses, research centers and centers for service provision, makes a systematic contribution to various intersectorial policies of the Ministry, including:
- Changing the energy model, prioritizing investment in new sources of energy generation and reducing demand taking into consideration the opportunities for leveraging natural resources (renewable and non-renewable
- Developing infrastructure in the areas of connectivity and telecommunications in pursuit of sovereignty in technology and integration.
- Progressively improving the profile of sustainability of management of Strategic Sectors and their projects.
ESPOL is interested in developing a set of specific programs and projects with the MCSE in order to contribute towards specific aims with reference to the set of intersectorial policies of the Ministry of Coordination of Strategic Sectors. ESPOL offers the degree courses of petroleum engineering, mining and geology, and in these three areas, with the addition of natural gas and environmental management, it could be a strategic ally of the MCSE.
ESPOL has also launched a process of dialogue with the Institute for Research in Aquaculture and Fisheries of Ecuador (IIAPE) with the purpose of establishing a strategic alliance for the development of research, through the CENAIM and the IIAPE in the fields of aquaculture, fisheries and maritime research.
As for the GAD (Autonomous Decentralized Governments), ESPOL will offer technical aid and will work together with sectional governments, in particular those that fall within the area of influence of ESPOL, in order to strengthen intraterritorial development. A fundamental element of this relationship with the public sector is working towards modification of the social model, since in the words of Federico Mayor, ex-Director General of UNESCO, universities should contribute to “the reduction of unacceptable economic and social asymmetries” and should provide “new contents for a genuine and participatory citizenship”. This contribution to change in the social model will be the responsibility of all, and specifically of the Commission for Social Outreach.
With regard to diversifying and deepening relations with the national and overseas private sector of large, medium and small business, including the popular economic sector and solidarity work, the central assumption is that in the twenty-first century the main source of wealth generation will be knowledge. Part of the relationship with the private sector is the contribution that ESPOL can make to the creation and development of technology-based businesses, and policies aimed at modifying the productive structure, the business structure and the management model of companies, since it will be necessary for the public sector, the private sector and the academy to take on board the fact that the main factor in wealth generation is knowledge and the quality of human talent.
Strategy 3: The Program of Excellence promoted by the National Government in favor of Class A Higher Education Institutions has the following specific objectives:
- To incorporate advanced human talent as academic personnel for the improvement of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and the strengthening of formative and generative research.
- To strengthen teaching capacity in pedagogy and curriculum development, as a result of learning and research.
- To provide tools for the development of abilities in communication and critical thinking in undergraduate students, and for the development of competencies and training for research in both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
- To implement a system of evaluation of learning outcomes in all courses and programs of engineering and science in ESPOL.
- To strengthen the degree courses and programs in Science and Engineering subjects through improvement of laboratory equipment, access to virtual libraries and acquisition of virtual books and databases.
- To adapt existing infrastructure to guarantee members of the ESPOL community with disabilities the right to develop their activity, potential and skills.
- To establish an Integrated Information System that allows management of academic and administrative information, facilitating decision making.
- To make of ESPOL an Institution of Excellence, boosting its development through strategic elements such as consolidation of its Research Centers, the creation of a Special Economic Development Zone with emphasis on technology and the implementation of online education projects. The advance of innovation, the transference of technology and the formation of business incubators will be oriented to benefiting the most diverse productive processes, from the popular economy and solidarity initiatives to processes involving intensive use of technology.
This strategy contributes to the 4 large scale strategic aims of ESPOL for the period 2013-2017; it provides benefits to teaching and research; it benefits all three sectors; and it is a positive step towards excellence.
The main activities towards these aims are divided into two phases; in the first, emphasis will be on: projects needed to strengthen ESPOL with a view to international accreditation; in the second phase emphasis will be on projects required to convert ESPOL into a Higher Education Institution of world class or with international prestige. Furthermore, there is the prospect of working jointly with the other six Class A institutions.
As part of Phase 1 resources will be requested via SENESCYT for the following:
a) Offering retirement to teachers of 65 or over.
b) Training up Ph.Ds from the pool of teachers of 45 or over, through ad-hoc programs(sandwich courses.
c) To induct candidates from the Prometeo program to cover the vacancies left by teachers who retire, in order to strengthen areas deficient in teaching and to consolidate formative and generative research.
d) To strengthen teaching management via a training plan.
e) Improvement in the physical infrastructure including:
E1 Laboratory equipment for teaching and research.
- E2 Acquisition of libraries and databases.
- E3 Adapting physical infrastructure
- E4 Physical safety in the laboratories
f) Academic and research management, including:
- F1 Integrated system of Management and Information.
- F2 “Semilla” and Graduating Thesis projects.
- F3 International accreditation for all engineering degrees.
Phase 2 includes:
a) A large scale program of grants for training 600 teachers in the best universities of the USA in alliance with LASPAU, of which 500 will correspond to the areas of science,technologies, engineering and mathematics(STEM).
b) The induction of 70 world class Ph.Ds.
c) To boost innovation, transference of technology and the formation of business incubators, aimed at benefiting the most diverse productive processes, from the popular economy and solidarity initiatives to processes making intensive use of technologies.
d) The implementation of online education projects.
e) Equipping research laboratories to carry out research, generate and transfer knowledge to favor the integral development that Ecuador requires.
Strategy 4: Making Campus Gustavo Galindo into a scientífic-technological complex that links the research centers of ESPOL with those of YACHAY or the city of knowledge, and with the Special Economic Development Zone (ZEDE) in the field of technology.
a) At present ESPOL has a park named PARCON, which developed out of an idea dating back to the 1990s and was given the name Parque Tecnológico (Technological Park). This was a key element in a model of regional development based on knowledge, which foresaw a two-tier economy: one tier being the export of primary products enhanced through the application of knowledge, and the new economy sustained by technologically based businesses and entrepreneurs who recognized that knowledge is a fundamental factor in production in today’s world.
In 2007 ESPOL took up the proposal made by UNESCO and transformed the idea of a Technology Park into that of a Knowledge Park, conceptualized as:
- A mechanism to cultivate an innovative business environment;
- A space developed in association with universities with research capacity, producing synergy and the transfer of technology;
- A mechanism to accelerate the creation and development of small and medium technology based companies (incubation of businesses), with access to resources, services and research;
- A mechanism to promote rapid commercialization of technology.
Today, PARCON is the most important university project that will contribute to modifying the structure of national production of goods and services currently characterized as export of primary products; to releasing the potential of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation, which must generate and transfer the knowledge that integral development of Ecuador requires; and to improving the system of higher education, which should train up advanced human talent, conduct research and transfer knowledge in response to the actual and potential needs of society, all through a set of research centers in whose policies and actions there is a mutual interrelation between the national, the regional and the local. In turn, teaching, research, innovation, transference of knowledge, and production are part of a process of development in which the THA and public policies interact to achieve the set goals, which in the case of Ecuador are of high ambition, and on another level, the goals of the regime of development specified in the Constitution.
In this context, centers of research interacting in transdisciplinary processes are a strategy towards satisfactory functioning of the relation between research, education and production, with one stipulation: such production should have high added value and be environmentally sustainable and aimed towards:
- Promoting small and medium technology based businesses that are environmentally friendly.
- Increasing the productivity of existing companies.
- Strengthening the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation.
- Promoting a culture of innovation.
- Diversifying the regional and local economy.
- Improving the quality of academic activities in the universities and polytechnic schools of Ecuador.
- Incorporating highly qualified professionals into the world of business.
- Reducing the “brain drain” from the country.
- Advantageously placing Ecuadorian products in national and international markets through certificates or seals of quality (country branding).
ESPOL, through its academic life, especially its set of research centers, is the strategic ally of YACHAY or the City of Knowledge. ESPOL, given the characteristics iof its research centers and the relation between research teaching and research-production, is the best strategic partner for YACHAY, the city of knowledge promoted by the National Government.
To give substance to this strategic alliance, it is vital that planning of the activities of the Program of Excellence should be carried out without traumatic delays, since there are two key aspects which require immediate action:
- The training and induction of advanced human talent, both world class and national talent which has been developed in the best universities of the USA in STEM fields.
- Technological infrastructure, both for teaching and for research. Advanced Human Talent and the scientific-technological infrastructure are essential to put into practice the lines of research, production and transference of knowledge, the offer of doctoral programs and tangible results from research activities indexed publications, patents, etc.)
Together, YACHAY and ESPOL will work in accordance with the lines of enquiry and projects of the respective research institutes of the public sector and with national and international university networks, under the umbrella of “academic solidarity”.
b) ESPOL and the Special Development Zone in the area of technology (ZEDE).
Under the aegis of the Code of Production, of Resolution No. CSP-2012-05012-05 of the Sectorial Code of Production and the Regulations for Productive Structure, ESPOL promotes the creation of a ZEDE in the area of technology that would be active in all or in part of the Campus Gustavo Galindo.
Specific Goals of the ZEDE.- In accordance with the general aim established in Article 34 of the Organic Code of Production, Trade and Investment, the following specific goals are laid down for the establishment of a Special Economic Development Zone.
Guidelines for establishing a ZEDE.- To approve the constitution of a Special Economic Development Zone, the Sectorial Council of Production will consider the following guidelines:
- The geographical area of national territory where it is proposed to set up the zone, which will be prioritized in accordance with the policies laid down by the National Government in the field of territorial development, and by the policies of defined by the Autonomous Decentralized Governments in the area of competition.
- The potential of the area proposed, which should be consonant with the activities prioritized in the plan for transformation of the productive model.
- The conditions of the road infrastructure and ease of communication with other parts of the country.
- The environmental conditions.
- The source of investment (public, private or mixed).
ESPOL posesses the requirements to administer a ZEDE in the area of technology, including the following: