UNIR, the university without borders that promotes excellence, equal opportunities and virtual mobility

UNIR, the university without borders that promotes excellence, equal opportunities and virtual mobility


Ecuador is one of the strategic countries for UNIR, since it has the largest number of students compared to the rest of the Americas. Students from all over Ecuador can access third and fourth level degree programs recognized by the Senescyt and the world.

The main problems that exist in the country, in reference to higher education, are the lack of places in universities and the difficulty that people who want to study have when living in the provinces or in places far from the study centers. These problems have been solved by the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) , which offers third and fourth level degrees via virtual learning.

Before it was unthinkable that someone who lives in the Galapagos, for example, or in an area far from the Amazon, could study and finish their university studies without having to move from their geographical area. That is now possible, because they can enroll in the UNIR virtual campus and achieve not only study at the most internationalized university in the world, but also break physical barriers, and receive an education of excellence by sharing a virtual classroom with colleagues from various countries and with teachers of the highest academic level.

Rafael Puyol, president of UNIR, and former rector of the Complutense University of Madrid, comments that “this is possible thanks to the diversity of students that UNIR has and who come from different latitudes. We have approximately 50,000 students, half of them in Latin America and the other half in Spain and very diverse because people from more than 100 countries study with us. And we have teachers who can teach from anywhere in the world, so the degree of compliance is very high. That makes us the first 100% online university that Spain has with a program exclusively in Spanish ”.

Undoubtedly, digitization and the advancement of ICT (information and knowledge technologies) facilitate access to education, eliminating geographical barriers and globalizing online training. All these factors contribute to increasing the university population that will be able to access higher education.

Rafael Puyol, President of UNIR

 There are 30.4 million higher education students in Latin America, a figure that by 2040 will reach 65.6 million, causing the problem of lack of space at the level of face-to-face education, not only in Ecuador and Latin America but in the world whole. From this challenge arises the initiative to offer a university of excellence to promote equality in all senses. “

Rafael Puyol, president of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR).

Viviana Naranjo , is a native Galapagueña, who thanks to UNIR, was able to fulfill her dream of studying without having to leave the islands, with all that this implies: getting away from her family, not being able to work and having to travel to the continent constantly to to be able to receive classes, with the very high cost that this would imply in plane tickets, and the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Viviana Naranjo defending her Final Master’s Thesis (TFM) at the UNIR offices in Ecuador. She obtained a master’s degree in Intellectual Property and New Technologies Law with UNIR.

She says that it was thanks to the programs of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) , she obtained discounts and payment facilities to obtain her fourth level degree.

“ For us Galapagueños, being able to study university was a dream, not a right; an expensive dream that meant traveling a thousand kilometers from your home, to mainland Ecuador, to pay for department, food, and the cost of university there “, says Naranjo and adds that” many return a month or a year without reaching their goals, basically due to lack of resources ”.

Life stories like Viviana’s drive UNIR to spare no effort to increasingly expand its coverage. “Ecuador is our crown jewel – it is the country where we have the most students, therefore, we will continue to expand our presence; we will continue betting on you, dedicating resources and establishing scholarships for low-income students so that they can conclude his university education” concludes Rafael Puyol, president of UNIR.

Virtual mobility for the Ecuadorian student

UNIR has also launched virtual mobility programs, such as the Mejía Lequerica Plan, in which beneficiaries take courses from their career at UNIR, but are also validated by their university in Ecuador .

This program, which is taught online and free of charge, allows its participants to share a unique educational experience with students from more than 90 countries through master classes, digitized content and personalized tutors.

Puyol explains that this virtual mobility office was born from studies carried out by UNIR that identified that many Ecuadorians had the United States as their main destination to study, as long as they knew the language. “We realized that European universities did not have an attractive offer and we created the necessary instruments to contribute to the teaching of many people. That identified need made us consider Latin America as a destination to develop undergraduate and graduate careers ”, he comments.

Within the virtual mobility program UNIR has established agreements with companies and universities in Europe, America and Asia, for academic, cultural and scientific exchange. The promotion of educational projects among students and teachers of these institutions. This ensures comprehensive training for students, academic strengthening of teachers, and the positioning of the university in the international context.

Scholarship program

Manuel Herrera, Academic Director of International Relations at UNIR, encourages Ecuadorian students to join virtual mobility, for which the Mejía Lequerica scholarship is offered.

Manuel Herrera, Academic Director of International Relations of UNIR

“This is a project activated by UNIR and signed by more than 30 universities in Ecuador, which allows its students to take courses of their choice for free, online with UNIR and which will be validated for their undergraduate or graduate degree, ” Herrera explains.

For this, he says, “there are two calls a year: one in April and the other in October . Universities offer courses, students register, take advantage of the scholarship and can study, in addition to sharing experiences with students from 90 other countries around the world,” reveals the Academic Director of International Relations of UNIR.

Read the original coverage via La Hora at https://www.lahora.com.ec/noticia/1102339288/unir-la-universidad-sin-fronteras-que-promueve-excelencia-igualdad-de-oportunidades-y-movilidad-virtual



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