UK is world’s top destination for fashion students

C’est chic: British fashion schools triumph in inaugural Business of Fashion global ranking

August 24, 2015
Fashion cat walk
Source: iStock

The UK is the world’s top destination for fashion students, according to a new ranking.

In fashion media company the Business of Fashion’s (BoF) inaugural global list of the leading undergraduate and graduate fashion courses, UK institutions account for five of the 10 best BA and MA programmes.

Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, was the most successful UK institution – it was ranked top school for undergraduate programmes and second for graduate courses. The Royal College of Art took the number one spot for graduate courses.

Kingston University was third in the BA list, trailing Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo, in second.

The US made up the rest of the top five undergraduate programmes, with Parsons The New School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology (both in New York) following Kingston. A total of five US institutions feature among the 10 best BA and MA programmes. 

The London College of Fashion completed an excellent showing for University of the Arts London colleges by coming fourth in the MA programmes, behind the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.

The ranking was part of BoF Education, a new initiative providing students and entrepreneurs with insight into the workings of the fashion industry and advice on how to advance their careers in it.

Leading fashion schools from Europe, North America and Asia were ranked based on BoF analysis of data from fashion schools, a survey of more than 4,000 fashion students and alumni, and a reputational survey of 88 human resources professionals and fashion influencers around the world.

Programmes were assessed on three criteria: global influence, learning experience, and long-term value (which looked at students’ preparedness for work based on aspects including graduation rates and employment opportunities).

More than a quarter of the institutions in the top 20 of best undergraduate programmes are in the UK. Joining Central Saint Martins and Kingston in the list are the University of Westminster (seventh), the London College of Fashion (eighth), Nottingham Trent University (14th) and the University for the Creative Arts (17th).

On average, UK schools scored higher overall than those in the US and those from the fashion bastion of Italy. In specific criteria, the UK also scored better than the US and Italy in terms of influence and value, outperforming other institutions on reputation, selectivity, and student satisfaction with school resources and careers services.

“We hope that our global fashion school rankings will aid prospective students in making informed choices about pursuing higher education in fashion and act as a tool for universities and colleges to improve their education offerings,” said Imran Amed, founder and chief executive of The Business of Fashion.

john.elmes@tesglobal.com


Top 20 undergraduate (BA) programmes

Rank Institution Location
1 Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London UK
2 Bunka Fashion College (Tokyo) Japan
3 Kingston University (Surrey) UK
4 Parsons The New School for Design (New York) US
5 Fashion Institute of Technology (New York) US
6 Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing (Florence) Italy
7 University of Westminster (London) UK
8 London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London UK
9 RMIT University (Melbourne) Australia
10 Drexel University (Philadelphia) US
11 Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art (Tel Aviv) Israel
12 Ryerson School of Fashion, Ryserson University (Toronto) Canada
13 Stephens College (Missouri) US
14 Nottingham Trent University UK
15 Savannah College of Art and Design (Georgia) US
16 Philadelphia University US
17 University for the Creative Arts (Surrey) UK
18 Istituto Marangoni (Milan) Italy
19 Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology China
20 Hogeschool van Amsterdam Netherlands

Top 10 graduate (MA) programmes

Rank Institution Location
1 Royal College of Art (London) UK
2 Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London UK
3 Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp) Belgium
4 London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London UK
5 Savannah College of Art and Design (Georgia) US
6 RMIT University (Melbourne) Australia
7 L'Institut Français de la Mode (Paris) France
8 Ryerson School of Fashion, Ryserson University (Toronto) Canada
9 Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing (Florence) Italy
10 Philadelphia University US

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