Ecuador's 2008 Constitution - and a subsequent law on higher education passed in its wake - effectively suspended student fees for public universities. The goal of this reform was to increase equality of opportunity. In this article I use newly-available individual-level retrospective information from the 2001 Census to explore gender and ethnic inequality in educational attainment since the 1950s. After establishing the long term historical tendencies, I discuss the politics and implementation of the Constitutional reform. Then, recent national survey data are analyzed to show the recent trends in access to universities depending on home language (Quichua versus Spanish), ethnicity, parental income, and whether or not the mother had received a povertyalleviation welfare transfer. I find that, after the suspension of user fees, there was an increased gap in the probability and rates of public university access between the more-advantaged and the lessadvantaged populations of Ecuador.
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