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Ecuadorian university to expand access to higher education opportunities to lower-income students with IDB support

$15 million IDB loan to allow university to expand affordable high-quality education to an additional 5,000 students

Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, a socially inclusive Catholic university in Ecuador, will get a $15 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance its expansion, including the construction of new buildings, purchase of equipment, and the creation of a student loan fund.

The IDB loan will help finance half of the total cost of the expansion plan, allowing the University to expand affordable high-quality education to an additional 5,000 students over the next three years, of which approximately 85 percent will receive significant discounts of fees, scholarships, and/or student financing.

Currently, the Salesian polytechnic university offers education services to approximately 18.000 students, the majority of them from middle and lower-income families, and from indigenous communities, in three campuses: Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil.

“The project will allow the University to have better infrastructure and equipment to improve the quality of its services, benefitting lower-income students who cannot gain entry to Ecuador’s free public universities due to fierce competition,’’ said Peter Stevenson, the project team leader at the IDB's Structured and Corporate Finance Department.

Proceeds from the IDB loan will also be used to set up a $2 million student loan fund, which is being designed to be more favorable than current student loan offerings available in the market. Tuition costs for the existing and 5,000 additional students are on average only half of the cost for other private universities in the country.

The $15 million loan is expected to include participation of social impact investors as B lenders mobilized by the IDB under its loan syndication program (A/B Loan).

About the IDB's Structured and Corporate Finance Department

The Structured and Corporate Finance Department (SCF) leads all IDB's non-sovereign guaranteed operations for large-scale projects, as well as those linked to companies and financial institutions. Through its Loan Syndication Program, SCF acts as a catalyst, helping to engage third-party resources by partnering with commercial banks, institutional investors, co-guarantors and other co-lenders for projects with high developmental impact.