Day of Ecuador prompts discussion, new thoughts regarding higher education for Ecuadorians

K-State Global Campus Communication Services
More than 300 people attended the Day of Ecuador on the K-State campus on Aug. 6 which included presentations by Nathalie Cely, Ecuadorian Ambassador and Maria del Pilar Troya, vice minister of the Ecuadorian government body of higher education, and Freddy Alvarez, general research dean of the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales. (Photo: Anna Shippy, junior in mass communications, K-State Global Campus Communication Services)

Kansas State University hosted a Day of Ecuador on August 6 in the Student Union. The event provided a forum for researchers, educators and students to exchange ideas and research findings about the role of education in generating human development in a global era.
The day, which also showcased K-State’s global partnership with Ecuador, consisted of panel discussions from Ecuadorian dignitaries and K-State faculty and administration. In attendance were three Ecuadorian dignitaries — Nathalie Cely, Ecuadorian ambassador to the United States; Maria del Pilar Troya, vice minister of the Ecuadorian governing body of higher education; and Freddy Alvarez, general research dean of the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales. The dignitaries were joined by K-State Senior Vice President and Provost April Mason, among other K-State administrators.

The partnership is centered on the Go Teacher program, which brings teachers from Ecuador to the K-State manhattan campus to enhance their English proficiency and provide instruction in teaching English as a second language. The seven-month program is fully funded by the Ecuadorian government. The fifth cohort of Go Teachers completed the program in August, with the sixth cohort set to arrive in January.

“We believe that human development is at the core of our model for national development,” Cely said. “We are an economy that is based mostly in natural resources and low value products.  In order to become that knowledge-based society, human talent is our priority.  To achieve the levels of innovation that the country requires, to become the learning society, education is at the core and center of that strategy.”

Mason said K-State’s partnership with Ecuador is one way the university is working toward internationalization.

“An appreciation, an understanding, a respect of international partners of the expanding world we live in is very important,” Mason said. “I think the Go Teacher program has been one way that we’ve been able to do that. Learning about our world is very critical and that’s a responsibility that we have to the students of Kansas State University.”

As the program has grown, K-State has awarded sub contracts to the University of Kentucky, New Mexico State University and Valparaiso University to host Go Teacher students at partner institutions. 

“K-State is the program model for other universities,” Troya said. “They have been very collaborative and very helpful and have done a wonderful job in sustaining the Go Teacher program.”

Approximately 300 students, faculty, staff, mentors and administrators attended the Day of Ecuador. Ecuadorian jazz fusion band Papaya Dada provided the evening entertainment with a concert for all guests.

To view archived videos of the day’s events, visit
You found Willie! Click on him to let us know!

K-State Alumni Association
100 Alumni Center, 1720 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506-1001  |  800-600-ALUM (2586) | 785-532-6260  |  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram