Yachay Tech keep moving forward
In a letter published in the journal Science, the authorities expressed their commitment to the institution
On July 28, 2017, Emiliano Rodríguez Mega published the article “Turmoil imperils research university in Andes”, based on the opinion of 5 former employees who signed contracts with a clause indicating that they could be dismissed at any time. The news piece pointed out that after the termination of those contracts Yachay Tech`s research purpose would come to an end. The article was published on the news section of Science journal. That is why the current Ph.D. leaders from University of Wisconsin – Madison, Florida, Stanford; MIT (2), La Habana, Leicester, Australian National University and Cambridge** published a letter in that journal.
The letter, originally written in English, aims to give an opinion on the path that Yachay Tech University have taken, and its current situation. As an argument, the letter is based on the certainty that the institution receives the necessary support from the government and it will keep progressing with the outstanding work of faculty, researchers, and remarkable students from all over the country.
The letter is shown below:
Yachay’s promise In his News In Depth story “Turmoil imperils research university in Andes” (28 July, p. 340), E. Rodríguez Mega reported the frustrations of the recently dismissed administrators at Yachay Tech University in Ecuador. These administrators, as well as the rector (author C.C.-C.), all signed contracts indicating that they could be dismissed at any time. As members of the new leadership team, we write to express our confidence in the future of Yachay Tech University.
We are working to make Yachay Tech a world-class public research university that will help Ecuador to become a knowledge-based economy. Yachay is the first residential campus in the country. It is free to attend and has need-blind admissions. Each of its five schools consists of two departments, one concentrating on basic science and the other focusing on technology and engineering. All students receive common science, technology, engineering and mathematics training in the first 2 years and then 3 years of specialized instruction in English. We aim to hire only researchactive faculty (100% with Ph.D. degrees) and to maintain a low student-to-faculty ratio that can support education through research from the undergraduate to postdoctoral levels.
In addition to our current programs, we are developing subject Ph.D.s as well as interdisciplinary research programs in biodiversity, energy, nanotechnology, biomedicine, computational chemistry, physics, biology, geology, and high-performance computing (we currently use the only supercomputer in Ecuador). We are in the process of developing an ecosystem of innovation, driven by projects of critical importance to Ecuador and the Andean region, including a strong connection with the industry. The university is cooperating with several national research institutes in a joint effort to increase the concentration of researchers in the “city of knowledge” that is being built around the university.
The newly elected president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, has reiterated his commitment to the success of Yachay Tech University as an important project for the country, despite the economic challenges that the country is facing. We hereby express our commitment to continue creating a research-intensive university of the highest academic standards in collaboration with institutions from around the world.
Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Patricio Ponce, Jürgen Reichardt, Spiros Agathos, Paul Arellano, Andreas Griewank, Ernesto Medina, Hortencia Rodriguez, Edgar J. Patiño**
Yachay Tech University:
Yachay Tech University, created 3 years ago, currently has 1010 students of different levels like: common core, leveling and career. It is the only university with student housing in the country and the only one that offers 2 years of common core courses for the students to allow them to select their major with confidence and to create an interdisciplinary profile. The University has more than 125 science publications, more than 50 social innovation student’s projects based on research and more than 6 science publication on scientific national and international indexed journals published by undergraduate students. Yachay Tech University had signed more than 43 national and international institutions.
* *Carlos Castillo-Chávez, PhD. – Universidad de Wisconsin-Madison;
Patricio Ponce, Ph.D. – Universidad de Florida;
Jürgen Reichardt, Ph.D. – Universidad de Standford;
Spiros Agathos, Ph.D. – Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Hortensia Rodriguez, Ph.D. – Universidad de la Habana;
Paúl Arellano, Ph.D. – Universidad de Leicester;
Andreas Griewank, Ph.D. – Universidad Nacional de Australia;
Ernesto Medina, Ph.D. – Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Edgar Patiño, Ph.D. – Universidad de Cambridge.