Universidad San Francisco de Quito, or USFQ, is a liberal-arts, non-profit private university located in Quito, Ecuador. It was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador and the first liberal-arts institution in the Andean region.
Academically, USFQ ranks as one of the three-top universities in Ecuador, according to the Ecuadorian Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of High Education. In 2009, it was ranked first in Ecuador in relation to the number of peer-reviewed scientific publications.
The university now enrolls 5,500 students, 4,500 of whom are undergraduates. The university each year has about 100 indigenous students and 1,000 international students participate in USFQ academic programs. USFQ has developed a scholarship program for indigenous students, offering full scholarships to the best students of public high schools throughout Ecuador. Although USFQ receives no funding from the government of Ecuador, its faculty comprises one-half of all the people in that nation who hold a doctorate.
The main campus of USFQ is located in Cumbayá, outside of Quito, the capital, where students use a library, education and research laboratories, classrooms, and seven restaurants. USFQ is the only university in the world that owns a campus in the Galapagos Islands, and a campus in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (Tiputini Biodiversity Station), one of Earth’s most biodiverse areas.