History of ESPOL


The Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, was born in response to a perceived need at region-wide level for Institutions of Higher Education Specialized in Scientific and Technical Education. It was created via Executive Decree Nº 1664, issued by the then President of the Republic of Ecuador, Dr. Camilo Ponce Enríquez, on 29 October 1958.

On 25 May 1959, in two classrooms in the University Halls situated in calle Chile, 51 students attended the first classes under the leadership of the first Rector, Ing. Walter Camacho Navarro.

On 29 May 1959, ESPOL was officially inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Republic, Dr. Camilo Ponce Enríquez.

In 1969, the Governing Body of ESPOL entered into conversation with representatives of the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) in order to obtain a loan for improving the physical and technological infrastructure of the campus. 1972 saw the beginning of the BID/ESPOL I joint project. 

On 21 December 1976, The Institutional Administrative Council analyzed the situation of ESPOL and identified a need for increased physical space, necessary in order to carry out all the functions of service to society to which ESPOL was now committed. Thus, in February 1977, as a result of the search for a wider land area which would allow ESPOL to expand, a 690 hectare terrain was found in “La Prosperina”. It was then that a formal request was made to the Ministry of Public Education to approve the expropriation of this terrain.

In 1978, following a further round of negotiations with the BID, a new loan, BID/ESPOL II, was formalized. In 1983, under the government of Oswaldo Hurtado, in accordance with a commitment made by former President Jaime Roldós Aguilera, a Plan of Government was drawn up which included the ESPOL project as an expression of support for the Ecuadorian system of Higher Education. Thus, ESPOL’s Campus Prosperina at last became a reality. 

From 1972 to 1982, the main priorities of institutional development were as follows:


  • Teacher training and development.
  • The creation of a Planning Unit.
  • The incorporation of young ESPOL graduates with M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees.
  • Over the past 40 years, nearly all titular teachers have been committed to a full 40-hour per week timetable in ESPOL.
  • • The creation of the degree courses of Fishing Technology (1973) and Computing Technology (1974) formed part of the Institutional Plan of Development, which also included a new campus, as well as support from the government and from the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID).


From 1983 to 1992, the first institutional priority was centered on fulfilling the Plan of Development associated with BID ESPOL II, the objectives of which were fully realized.

These objectives were as follows:


  • Increasing the number of Technological degrees offered (7 degrees in total).
  • Incrementing the number of degrees offered by the College of Electrical Engineering and Computing Sciences, and further developing existing ones.
  • Creating postgraduate courses.
  • Bringing about an integrated improvement in the quality of teaching, and in the internal efficiency of the institution.
  • Promoting and supporting activities of scientific and technological research.
  • Developing programs of extension and technological support for the productive sector.
  • Officially inaugurating the Campus Gustavo Galindo Velasco. This was finally done in 1991.
  • Inaugurating the Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigaciones Marinas, CENAIM (1992 – National Center for Aquaculture and Marine Research), key to the sustainability of shrimp farming activities in the region. The applied research of CENAIM has already served to solve the problem of “white spot” in the national shrimp industry.


Since 1992, the most relevant achievements of the institution are as follows:


  • The VLIR-ESPOL project, which made a significant contribution to strengthening research in the institution and to gaining 16 new Ph.D.'s in the Flemish universities of Belgium.
  • The modernization of the physical infrastructure of the Campus Gustavo Galindo Velasco, with the capacity to cater for up to 10,000 students.
  • Investment in PARCON (Technological Park). Particularly noteworthy are the CTI building with its data center, the access road, the artificial lake, and the electrical substation.
  • The commencement of the international accreditation process for five engineering degrees with ABET: Mechanical Engineering in FIMCP, Petroleum Engineering in FICT, Naval Engineering in FIMCBOR, Electrical Engineering and Engineering in Computer Sciences in FIEC. The beginning of 2013 saw the official presentation of the request for accreditation for Engineering in Computer Sciences and Mechanical Engineering, and in 2014, these degree courses were internationally accredited by ABET.
  • With the 38 million dollars from the BID loan, ESPOL surpassed the objectives and targets that had been set. More buildings were constructed than those that had been planned in the original project.
  • The new institutional aims envisage moving towards a new society based on knowledge, research and innovation, seen as keys to development and wealth. The institution faces the challenge of serving as a model for higher education in Ecuador, as well as achieving international ranking for its academic excellence and for the results and wider impact of the projects undertaken for the benefit of the country.
 ESPOL - 1958


The birth of the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral coincides with significant events in the economy and in science both nationally and on the world stage. The Great Hall of the Universidad de Guayaquil is the place where ESPOL gave its first classes.

  ESPOL - 1960  


Commencement of academic activities. In the picture, various authorities and students appear together with Walter Camacho Navarro, Rector of ESPOL, during the inauguration of the first semester of studies.  

 ESPOL - 1970   


In the presence of the President of the Republic, José María Velasco Ibarra, ESPOL inaugurated the first Computer Center. The President was received by the Rector, Walter Valdano Raffo.

 ESPOL - 1972  


Substantial improvements in the physical and technological infrastructure were financed with the BID/ESPOL I project, an investment amounting to nearly 4 million dollars. Work began on rebuilding the former Customs Offices, where the buildings and workshops of the Campus Las Peñas of ESPOL would thenceforth be situated.

ESPOL - 1983    


The first institutional priority became the execution of the BID ESPOL II Development Plan, which made it possible to expand the offer of degree courses in Electrical Engineering, create postgraduate courses, improve the quality of teaching, promote and support research activities, and develop support programs addressed to the productive sector. In the photograph, Walter Valdano, the Rector, oversees the presentation of the model of the new Campus Prosperina.

ESPOL - 1990


The Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigaciones Marinas (National Center for Aquiculture and Marine Research), CENAIM-ESPOL, a cornerstone of the sustainability of the shrimp farming industry insofar as it constitutes the sole research center in Biotechnology for the farming of shrimps and other sea fauna in Ecuador, was formally inaugurated. The applied research of CENAIM led to solving the problem of “white spot” in Ecuador.

ESPOL - 1991


The Campus Politécnico Gustavo Galindo Velasco, in La Prosperina, an attractive place of study in contact with nature, was inaugurated. This campus is the result of a Development Plan, supported by all governments since 1979 and financed by means of a loan from the BID. In the photograph, a view of the new Rectorate Building.

 ESPOL - 2000  


The VLIR-ESPOL program contributed significantly to strengthening research in ESPOL and to training up 16 professionals with the degree of Ph.D., who developed doctoral programs in the Flemish universities of Belgium. The project was extended into a second phase ending in 2008.

 ESPOL - 2007


ESPOL obtains Institutional Accreditation of Quality from CONEA, a considerable achievement involving a process of self-evaluation and external evaluation, where the functions analyzed included teaching, research, links with society and administrative management.

ESPOL - 2009


The Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral is recognized by CONEA as a Class A university, according to the report “Evaluation of Performance of Institutions of Higher Education” presented to the country's National Assembly.

ESPOL - 2014


ESPOL is ratified by CEAACES as a Class A university following the national process of university evaluation. ESPOL now stands as the only public institution of Higher Education in Latin America which has international accreditation, since the degree courses of Engineering in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering were accredited by ABET. In addition, ESPOL’s Business School, ESPAE, obtained international accreditation with AACSB.

ESPOL - 2015


The first doctorates in the history of the institution were created: Doctorate in Applied Computational Sciences, and Doctorate in Applied Biosciences. The College of Life Sciences opens with three degree courses which are still current: Marine Biology, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Bachelor in Nutrition. ESPOL remains at the forefront of research and offers 9 Master’s Research Degrees accredited by CES.