The Business of Fashion’s first global fashion school ranking aims to provide an objective assessment of the top undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) fashion programmes around the world, based on 60 different data points gathered from 24 participating institutions, surveys completed by 4,032 students and alumni, feedback from 88 HR professionals and global fashion influencers and our own BoF analysis.
The BoF Global Fashion Schools Ranking is based on three major indicators of quality:
- Global Influence – We considered the global reputation and influence of a school by surveying industry professionals and recruiters around the world, assessing the selectivity of a school in admitting applicants, and analysing the finalists at 6 prestigious international fashion prizes.
- Learning Experience – We evaluated students’ experience while in school by surveying their satisfaction with the calibre of fellow students, the quality of teaching and the resources available at the institution.
- Long-term Value – We assessed the student’s preparedness for the real world, based on student graduation rates provided by the schools and assessing student satisfaction about employment, careers preparedness and accessibility of alumni.
An overall BoF Score was given to each participating institution based on weighted performance indicators. Where insufficient data was available from student survey data or schools did not participate or provided incomplete/inaccurate data, we preferred not to rank a school/programme as opposed to providing an inaccurate assessment. As such, some reputable programmes may not appear in our ranking.
Performance Indicator Weights & Definitions
We considered the global reputation and influence of a school by surveying industry professionals and recruiters around the world, assessing the selectivity of aschool in admitting applicants, and analysing the finalists at 6 prestigious international fashion prizes.
- BoF 500 and HR recruiter reputation scores
- Acceptance rate
- Enrollment rate (Yield)
- # of finalists in the last 5 years at major international fashion competitions: LVMH, ITS, Hyères, Woolmark, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and Mittelmoda
We evaluated students' experience while in school by surveying their satisfaction with the calibre of fellow students, the quality of teaching and the resources available at the institution.
Student Body (10%)
- Student diversity
- International enrolment
- Student quality satisfaction
- Library/study materials student satisfaction
- Workrooms student satisfaction
- Campus/Buildings student satisfaction
- Tech & IT student satisfaction
- Financial aid student satisfaction
- Work placement student satisfaction
- Technical skills course student satisfaction
- Digital & IT course student satisfaction
- Marketing course student satisfaction
- Business course satisfaction
- Environment / sustainability course satisfaction
- Global / Diverse content student satisfaction
- Teacher student satisfaction
We assessed the student's preparedness for the real world, based on student graduation rates provided by the school and assessing student satisfaction about employment, careers preparedness and accessibility of alumni.
- Graducation rate
- Career Services student satisfaction
- Quality of recruiters student satisfaction
- Networking events / Career fairs student satisfaction
- % alumni with job within 6 months
- Alumni career preparedness satisfaction
Alumni Network (5%)
- Accessibility of alumni satisfaction
- Global reach alumni satisfaction
- Level of activity alumni satisfaction
All indicators were selected to balance statistical rigour and relevance for the ranking, ensuring each added value and could help distinguish universities from each other and accurately represent the nature of the fashion industry.
Global Influence (30% overall weighting) – To what degree has an institution has built a reputation that students and industry insiders respect and trust?
- Reputation (10%) - composite score based on the total number of times school is ranked top three in having the most creative, most business savvy, and most compelling graduates according to members of the influential BoF 500 community and HR professionals from top fashion brands.
- Selectivity (10%)
- % Acceptance rate: proportion of admitted students vs. applicants to indicate the selectivity of programme as a measure of reputation.
- % Yield: proportion of admitted applicants who decided to enrol in the school as a measure of desirability
- Awards (10%) – composite score based on number average number of students in each B.A. and M.A. cohort who have been finalists of an international fashion award (The LVMH Prize, International Talent Scout, Festival d’Hyères, International Woolmark Prize, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and Mittelmoda) in the last five years.
Learning Experience (35% overall weighting) – To what degree is an institution is able to provide students with the resources and learning environment conducive to a rewarding fashion education?
- Student Body (10%)
- Weighted student diversity score: numerical average value applied to student satisfaction with international and gender diversity on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
- International enrolment: Proportion of international students in class as an indication of global reach and perspective
- Weighted overall student quality score: numerical average value applied to student satisfaction with overall student body on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
- Resources (15%) - numerical average value applied to student satisfaction with all resources (library/study materials, workrooms, campus/buildings, technology and IT, financial aid, and work placements) on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
- Teaching (10%) - numerical average value applied to student satisfaction with curriculum and teaching (technical skills courses, digital and IT courses, marketing courses, business courses, environment/sustainability courses, global/diverse content, teachers) on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
Long-term Value (35%)– To what degree is an institution able to prepare and support students for a successful, long-term career in the fashion industry?
- Careers (15%)
- Graduation rate: proportion of students enrolled who successfully complete the intended programme
- Weighted careers satisfaction score: numerical average value applied to student satisfaction with career services, quality of recruiters, and networking events/career fairs on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
- Preparedness (15%)
- Job within 6 months: % of alumni with a job within 6 months of graduation from institution
- Career preparedness score: numerical average value applied to how well prepared alumni felt to join the workforce after graduating on a scale from 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
- Alumni Network (5%) - numerical average value applied to satisfaction with alumni network on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied) based on accessibility of alumni, global reach and level of activity
An overall BoF Score was given to each participating institution based on the relative standardised overall value within the range of 40-95. All secondary category scores (Influence, Experience, Value) and tertiary sub-scores (components of each category) reflect the percentage of absolute score and weight of each performance indicator, for a maximum of 100.
The process used to compute the BoF Fashion School Ranking Score was as follows:
- Aggregate responses from all surveys/questionnaires and review data, ensuring the number of responses reflects a normal distribution, and data meets the required level of completeness and accuracy (adjusting and/or excluding outliers and inaccurate values)
- Process each indicator individually, producing a standardised score (z-score) for each indicator, except reputation, per school to evaluate the distance from the average using standard deviations and allowing each score to be compared against others in a statistically sound manner
- Assign weights to each indicator to ensure that no indicator and category (influence, experience, and value) could have a disproportionate positive or negative impact on a particular school’s final score
- Calculate an overall weighted z-score by applying the weights to each standardised indicator scores and assigning a new standardised score (total z-score / number of indicators) – in the case of missing data, the z-scores corresponding to the 25th percentile was assigned
- Assign a “0” awards score to schools with no awards
- Add reputation score based on total number of mentions
- Standardise reputation score per school based on 25% total weight value to school(s) with fewest mention and 100% of total weight value assigned to school(s) with the most mentions
- Standardise the rest of the tertiary scores by scaling them between 0 and total possible weight value, and calculating the percentage between the two for a maximum score of 100%
- Calculate the BoF Score and create a numerical ranking by adding absolute scaled indicator scores and scaling the total between 40-95% to reflect the relative performance of each school on a wider range and reflect the fact that no school scored perfectly throughout
DATA AND INPUTS
The rankings are the result of a rigorous analytical exercise, incorporating multiple data sources, including direct participation from fashions schools, students and alumni:
- Fashion Schools Questionnaire: Detailed survey data and information collected directly from 24 participating fashion schools in 11 countries, across 30 data points.
- Students and Alumni survey: Surveys completed by 4,032 current students and recent alumni from fashion schools evaluating student satisfaction across 22 data points.
- Global Fashion Influencers and HR professionals survey: Global reputation surveys completed by 88 HR professionals and members of the influential BoF500 community
- International Fashion Prize Analysis: Research and analysis on 450 recent international fashion award finalists in the last five years for the The LVMH Prize and the Festival d’Hyères in France, International Talent Scout and Mittelmoda in Italy, the International Woolmark Prize in Australia, and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in the US.