Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE
Opening the curtain on history of the Ecuadorean university, it is important to eliminate the idea that we are expecting something ethereal, supra-natural or the intellectual fetish. Of course, in colonial times, even up to the beginning of the 20th century, the university was the bubble of aristocratic elites or the focus of perversion of healthy doctrines, “according to Garcia Moreno’s critical eye, whose judgment of value showed that the university encouraged laziness and useless careers: jurisprudence, medicine and theology “. (Malo: 1984, 27).
The criticism of that president managed to guide young people of his time to choose other careers related to exact sciences. This was possible since 1869 with the presence of a group of German Jesuit priests, who left their academic legacy in favour of technical careers: the foundation of the National Polytechnic School, the installation of the Astronomical Observatory and a profound study of geology and geography of our country. It became clear, then, that the Ecuadorean university of the late nineteenth century knew how to combine the social and humanist path with the technical and scientific.
With the passage to the twentieth century, nothing new twinkled in the national university panorama. When Jose Luis Tamayo’s government took place, 1920 – 1924, a period in which several transcendental innovations occurred, especially in the military field, with the arrival of the Italian Military Mission. Their vast experience in war science succeeded in materializing the organization of many courses and the establishment of technical-military formation institutes; among them, the School of Officer Engineers.
When we look back to 1922, the year that our University of Armed Forces (ESPE) was born, we realized that it was opened under the protection of the Ecuadorean Army and the technical leadership of two Italian officers. It excelled a 16th of June, but with a challenge that was not written at that time: to shine with its own light.
The name ESPE changed to become the University of the Armed Forces (ESPE) on Wednesday 26th of June 2013, when the Higher Education Council (CES) approved the new statutes of our university.
The essence of this process was the merger of the three higher education centres belonging to the Ecuadorean Armed Forces: the Army Polytechnic School; The Naval University Commander Rafael Morón Valverde (UNINAV), created as a private university in 2006, based in Salinas and the Higher Technological Aeronautics Institute (ITSA), founded in 1999, based in Latacunga.
LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE
After 92 years of academic career, the country recognizes its contribution through the successful work of its graduates in different fields derived from military social and exact sciences. Out of the twenty-four students who inaugurated the Special Engineers Officer Course in June 1922, today the university has a student population of more than twenty thousand, in its various careers and modalities. Around the students, there is the administrative staff helping and supporting the academic system. This group is in charge of the management, order and the aesthetics of our higher studies home.
Our university continues to assume the challenges that every higher education center has: the training of professionals; Here is the challenge to deliver excellent professionals to the Armed Forces and to the country, professionals with quality and professionals who shine with their own light.
Dr. Kléver Antonio Bravo