BoF Global Fashion School Rankings Methodology 2017 (Undergraduate Fashion & Graduate Fashion)

The Business of Fashion’s Global Fashion School Rankings aim to provide an objective assessment of the top undergraduate fashion and graduate fashion programmes around the world, based on 30 different data points gathered from 73 participating institutions, surveys completed by over 11,000 students and alumni, feedback from over 75 HR professionals, 73 fashion school academics and our own BoF analysis.


The BoF Global Fashion School Rankings are based on three major indicators of quality:

  • Global Influence – We considered the global reputation and influence of a school by surveying academics around the world, assessing the selectivity of a school in admitting applicants, and analysing the finalists at 9 prestigious international fashion prizes
  • Learning Experience – We evaluated students’ experience while in school by surveying their satisfaction with the calibre of their peers, the quality of teaching and the resources available at the institution
  • Long-term Value – We assessed the students' preparedness for the real world, based on student graduation rates provided by the schools, assessing student satisfaction around employment, career preparedness and accessibility of alumni

An overall BoF Score was given to each participating institution based on weighted performance indicators. Where data provided from students or administrations was incomplete or insufficient, 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

Global Influence
30%
We considered the global reputation and influence of a school by surveying academics around the world, assessing the selectivity of a school in admitting applicants, and analysing the finalists at 9 prestigious international fashion prizes.
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Reputation (10%)

  • Academic reputation scores
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Selectivity (10%)

  • Acceptance rate
  • Enrollment rate (Yield)
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Awards (10%)

  • Number of finalists in the last 4 years at major international fashion competitions: LVMH, ITS, Hyères, Woolmark, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Mittelmoda, ANDAM, Vogue Italia “Who is on Next” and H&M Design Award.
Learning Experience
35%
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, including the percentage of students that complete internships and work placements during their studies.
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Student Body (10%)

  • Student diversity
  • International enrollment
  • Student quality satisfaction
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Resources (10%)

  • Library/study materials satisfaction
  • Workrooms satisfaction
  • Campus/Buildings satisfaction
  • Tech & IT satisfaction
  • Financial aid satisfaction
  • Work and internship placement (school provided)
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Teaching (15%)

  • Technical skills course satisfaction
  • Digital & IT course satisfaction
  • Marketing course satisfaction
  • Business course satisfaction
  • Environment / sustainability course satisfaction
  • Global / Diverse course content satisfaction
  • Teacher quality satisfaction
Long-term Value
35% 
We assessed the students' preparedness for the real world, based on programme graduation rates provided by the school and assessing student satisfaction about employment opportunities, career preparedness and accessibility of alumni.
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Careers (10%)

  • Graduation rate
  • Career Services satisfaction
  • Quality of recruiters satisfaction
  • Networking events / Career fairs satisfaction

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Preparedness (20%)

  • % of alumni that obtain jobs within 6 months (5%)
  • Alumni career preparedness satisfaction (5%)
  • Employability as measured by global HR professional scores (10%)
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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 built a reputation that students and industry insiders respect and trust?


 
  1. Reputation (10%) 
    1. Composite score based on the total number of times the school is ranked top three in having the most creative, most business savvy, and most compelling graduates according to a global pool of fashion school academics
  2. Selectivity (10%) 
    1. % Acceptance rate: proportion of admitted students versus applicants to indicate the selectivity of programme as a measure of reputation
    2. % Yield: proportion of admitted applicants who decided to enrol in the school as a measure of desirability
  3. Awards (10%) 
    1. Composite score based on the average number of students in each of the BA and MA cohort who have won or been finalists of an international fashion award (The LVMH Prize, International Talent Scout, Festival d’Hyères, International Woolmark Prize, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Mittelmoda, ANDAM, Vogue Italia “Who is on Next” and H&M Design Award) in the last four years.

Learning Experience (35% overall weighting) – To what degree is an institution able to provide students with the resources and learning environment conducive to a rewarding fashion education?

  1. Student Body (10%) 
    1. Student diversity score: numerical average value applied to each school’s student satisfaction with peer diversity on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
    2. International enrollment: proportion of international students in class as an indication of global reach and perspective
    3. 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)
  2. Resources  (10%) 
    1. The percentage of students that participate in work or internship placements and a numerical average value applied to student satisfaction with all resources (library/study materials, workrooms, campus/buildings, technology and IT, financial aid) on a scale of 1-5 (from very dissatisfied to extremely satisfied)
  3. Teaching (15%) 
    1. 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% overall weighting) – To what degree is an institution able to prepare and support students for a successful, long-term career in the fashion industry?

  1. Careers (10%) 
    1. Graduation rate: proportion of students enrolled who successfully complete the intended programme
    2. 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)
  2. Preparedness (20%) 
    1. Job within 6 months: percent of alumni that obtain a job within 6 months of graduation from institution
    2. 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)
    3. Employability score: composite score based on the total number of times the school is ranked top three in having the most creative, most business savvy, and most compelling graduates according to a global pool of fashion HR Professional
  3. Alumni Network (5%) 
    1. 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

Final Scores


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 scores was as follows:

  1. 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)
  2. Process each indicator individually, producing a standardised score (t-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
  3. 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
  4. Calculate an overall weighted t-score by applying the weights to each standardised indicator scores and assigning a new standardised score (total t-score / number of indicators) – in the case of missing data, the t-scores corresponding to the 25th percentile was assigned
  5. Assign an awards score value of  “1” to schools with no awards to ensure no school is penalised too harshly
  6. Add academic reputation score and employability score based on total number of mentions
  7. Standardise reputation score per school based on 25% total weight value to school(s) with fewest mentions and 100% of total weight value assigned to school(s) with the most mentions
  8. 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%
  9. 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 73 participating fashion schools in 20 countries, across 30 data points
  • Students and Alumni survey: surveys completed by over 10,000 current students and recent alumni from fashion schools evaluating student satisfaction across 23 data points
  • Global Reputation Survey: survey completed by 73 academics from a pool of fashion schools from around the world
  • Global Graduate Employability Survey: survey completed by over 75 HR professionals from around the world
  • International Fashion Prize Analysis: research and analysis on 317 recent international fashion award finalists in the last four 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, ANDAM in France, Vogue Italia “Who is on Next” in Italy and H&M Design Award