Dear friends, we are happy to announce the completion of our latest Ranking of Educational Programmes in Architecture and Design, this time the research was dedicated to the academic institutions in Europe. It is the 4th year that BE OPEN Foundation is conducting extensive research of the creative studies curricula. The initiative was launched in 2013, when the Foundation launched the initiative Inside the Academy.  BE OPEN has already mapped educational design programs in North America, in Africa, in South America, and in Asia.

The new approach consists in analyzing the potential, weak and strong points of educational courses themselves, but not the material base of the schools.

When we are talking about the Education in Creative Industries these days we are talking about interdisciplinary integration, fast-moving technological progress, environmental responsibility and a more fluent interplay between diverse cultures. Above all else, this process affects such disciplines as design and architecture.

For these reasons, we cannot simply rely on last century terminology when we talk about this field of education. If previously we used to judge design and architecture programmes with reference primarily to the reputation of the institution and its professors, along with the list of available disciplines, then today we are talking about moving beyond the limits of such categories. What matters to us, first and foremost, are the unique opportunities with which each particular course endows its graduates – not so much in terms of its prestige, as in the breadth of fresh horizons and new connections (both within the design world and beyond) that any given course can present. Identifying such programmes is the main aim of the BE OPEN ranking. In this research, we would like to emphasise the importance of developing a new approach to education – one that is more multifaceted, more dynamic and yet, at the same time, more responsible. We would be happy if, in playing our part to advance such an outlook, we will be helping uncover the creative potential of future specialists – including in disciplines that do not even have a name yet.

In some sense, the result of our research might not even be described as a ‘ranking’, as such: we are not trying to determine the ‘best’ university – we are presenting a list of the most outstanding programmes, in each of the six individual categories we have chosen. The selected programmes were arrived at through an independent investigation, consisted of online surveys of key reference groups: academics, graduates and potential employers, working in the architecture and design sectors. Two online polls were conducted during May-July 2017, followed by a direct survey. During our survey, we reached out to 208 universities and colleges, 16 professional associations and representatives of 64 bureaus.

This comprehensive study involves analysis of more than 800 programs of 208 European Universities. For the purposes of our research, we gathered data from public sources, which included: the QS World University Rankings; the Times Higher Education World University Rankings; UniRanks; Webometrics Ranking of World Universities; Masterstudies; the Domus Guide’s list of ‘Europe’s Top 100 Schools of Architecture and Design’; and finally, the Design Schools Hub.

Disclaimer: This ranking is made on the basis of available data in an unbiased and independent manner and is intended to be read as an additional, complementary source of information only. It is not advisable to rely solely on this article for any decision making