BE OPEN, the social and cultural foundation that supports creativity and innovation, has published the results of several research works dedicated to education in arts and architecture.

The initiative was launched in 2013, when the foundation started developing the research methodology through analyzing secondary creative education across Europe, the results of that analysis were presented in September the same year. Switching from these most elaborate and “mature” educational systems to ones of South America and Asia, BE OPEN updated its methods to better fit their peculiarities – the dynamic growth, fast development and outstanding potential in the majority of business and public areas.

Ranking System of Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in CIS + Cenral Asia


Ranking System of Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in Oceania


Ranking System of Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in Europe


Creative Education: A Review of Policy, Provision and Excellence in Arts Teaching Across Secondary Education in Europe


Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in Africa


Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in North America


Ranking System Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in Asia


Ranking System of Educational Programs Dealing with Architecture and Design in South America

“As a professor I welcome any project that gives young people access to valuable information. I think it is a very good idea to equip soon-to-be-students with a proper guide to arts and design related education. BE OPEN’s ranking is not overloaded with details, still provides enough initial data to select a shortlist of schools, and then choose the one best fitting one’s needs and resources. It is useful and free – just the thing young people need”.
Jean-Louis TRUEL,
Associate Professor at Université Paris-Est Créteil
Founder and managing director of International Business Development – IBD.
 “The rankings are incredible! If I had this information when I was choosing my university, it could help me a lot. It’s a big pity, that you’ be prepared them only now
My native German University in Cairo occupies a good position in Ranking”.
Mohamed FADEL,
Head of AIESEC in Egypt, German University of Cairo
 “I believe that the educational program’s ranking prepared by the BE OPEN foundation may offer real help to young people who are in the process of selection of a school to go to. I am confident that the foundation’s research work in the design educational ranking field will be able to achieve the same level of recognition as rankings prepared by the Financial Times in the field of MBA rankings”.
Mounaim LAMOUNI,
Head of AIESEC in Marocco

“I am convinced that BE OPEN’s ranking lists of design, arts and architecture schools are a very timely and important tool for young people who want to pursue a creative profession. The contemporary world has less and less boundaries, so boys and girls from Europe can go study arts to the US, or Brazil, or Tokyo. And that is truly fantastic because it’s a double win – you can study design and another culture, explore a whole new esthetics, which is a very useful thing for an artist, or a designer, or an architect. So knowing your opportunities, being able to weigh all cons and pros without yet actually leaving home just by looking through those lists is actually an enormous help.”

Full professor
Vice-President of Université Paris-Dauphine
 “The ranking provides valuable data for employees as it reveals the ways schools approach arts, design and technology education. We attribute more value to practical training, experience in the field. When searching for new team members, we want to be sure that they have acquired some useful skills and are not proficient in theory only.”
Jeffrey MA,
Development Director,
Shanghai Union Technology Corporation
“Very useful rating system. Especially for people and companies not working in the Art and Design field, yet needing a base knowledge of their future employee educational background. Easy to navigate, informative, practical”.
Dr Elvira BOLAT,
Programme Leader, Global Engagement Lead, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Bournemouth University
“The work done by Be Open Foundation raises attention and can create general positive attitude to use the knowledge created by different educational institutions in design. It is important to understand the more criteria and more angles are used when looking at educational programs, the wider understanding students can have about opportunities but also to initiate more dialogue with other stakeholders. This ranking for sure gives a fresh perspective on European universities and just welcome Be Open Foundation to do this work regularly, it will be interesting to see how the future will look like”.
Secretary general Cumulus Association
The Be Open classification is a tool that oversees the chaotic nature of design education and provides a new, clear understanding of the many opportunities the young generations may be looking at when interested for such education.  Nowadays being prepared for the design market means to be constantly in contact with the ever-shifting paradigms guiding our present society. With each program being advertised to be the most fit to be studied and the most amazing, it is very difficult without such tool to grasp the multi-directional realities and agenda hid behind each institutional organisation and make an actual choice. As confusing as fake news are, only an experienced reader or designer may be, with time, able to decipher the reality from the rest. Built from coldly processing data and therefore without any particular agenda other than providing a lens for understanding, this classification evaluates each opportunity according to today’s students’ needs. Personally, I would recommend entering a school that provides both contact and solid knowledge of new technologies, materials and innovation, and able to follow up a student until he is able to create his own paradigm. Schools that have an alumni community are also most likely to provide contacts and being able to accompany an ex-student in starting on its own”.
Térence COTON,

Architect & Product Designer

“I found quite interesting the idea of a “Renaissance of Design”; I totally agree with the changes that you analyzed and now, more than ever, there is a clear awareness around design and creative arts among not-specialized people as well. All these conditions are the cause of the necessity to define which are the new criteria of education, as you did. In my opinion, and according to my personal  idea of Design, I would follow three main criteria of selection:


Starting from the concept that both design and creative arts are really complicated to teach, what the university/college could do is to offer a  project methodology, focused on developing a  personal interpretation of this method in each one of the students. Substantial innovation in the program is fundamental in order to change things, keep on refining programs, courses, methodology; the practice-oriented education is essential to create a real experience in applying the learned methods, in order to understand all the employment dynamics.

Finally, the third point refers to design as a multifaceted subject that, since its beginning, was heavily influenced by territory, from a cultural, social and political point of view. Scandinavian Design, Japanese Design, Italian Design: each one has their own characteristics and features. It’s quite important that a University/College is able to offer a global vision regarding design but, at the same time, to focus on the history, traditions, and culture behind it, in order to use these aspects as a strong point”.

Matteo AGATI ,
Industrial & Product Designer
“Why I consider the BE OPEN Research useful? Education in design does not have a perfect formula, I think. Different programmes work for different people with different focuses and previous experiences especially because design education can have so many dimensions. It would be very helpful to know which school or programme is the perfect fit before applying.
I think that future students who are pursuing a higher education in the design field should consider first-hand experiences of current students and how an institution actually benefits them before the reputation of a school. The students also might consider how much guidance they need. Some improve by having more freedom in projects and some benefit from a strict education structure. I think it is all personal and depends on the student’s previous education and even their personality! The criteria I would follow is towards a system that promotes a certain amount of freedom and self-discipline. In the end, it is the graduating students that make the reputation of an institution. So their first-hand experience would be the main criteria I would follow while choosing a school. Design is a highly visual field and the work coming out of a programme is usually published or exhibited for the public to see. It is one of the best indication of the type of education I think.Each programme has I’m sure strengths and weaknesses and some might promote practical experience but might not touch on what happens after graduation perhaps. But I found that schools that encourage exchange programmes and that have a multi-language and multi-cultural environment manage to teach the students more realistic experiences on how it is to work in the real world and this is the kind of place I would consider above anything else”.
Product designer and creator 
“BE OPEN Research is an excellent analysis of the world of art, design, communication useful especially if you take into account the changes taking place and in particular:
- Creativity alone is no longer sufficient unless supported by data analysis techniques.
- The margins of creativity have decreased and strategic consulting has changed a lot.
- The web has fully entered the company and looks in particular at information analysis.
- New models combining creativity, technology and business will need to be explored”.

Giancarlo CAZZANIGA, 

CEO at Publitrust, Integrated advertising and communication agency

“The comprehensive European ranking of top educational programs regarding design, architecture and arts, carried out by the Be Open Foundation will be of great value for (future) students, employers, policymakers, in fact for everybody with a keen interest in these professions. The matrix approach highlighting the many different angles will most certainly be beneficiary for young students who are aspiring a creative profession, for companies recruiting creative staff as well as for central and local governments when determining their policy priorities concerning creativity and innovation”.

Kitty DE JONG, 

Business Consultant Board Member of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) 

“SILO is a strategic design and consultancy firm. We help organisations to innovate and grow in a world that is in constant change. Our firm is depending on new creative talent, driving our innovative forces. Relevant education is key for (e)merging expertises like architecture, art and design. As creative director and board member of the Dutch Designers Association, I appreciate the work of the Be Open Foundation. Regarding design, arts and architecture the ranking gives a clear insight in the quality of educational programs of universities in Europe”.


Creative Director SILO Agency, Board Member of the Association of Dutch Designers BNO

“In my opinion students can find this classification of European universities very useful for starting their future career in the field of art and design. As well as companies that want to learn more about the educational background of their employees can use this evaluation system.”.

Marco DE MASI, 

Designer and founder of his own studio

“I work as an architect for several years now and also participate in many non-profit organisation projects. And I’m always being asked by younger people: I want to become an architect, what school should I choose. You see, no one can get any education, he or she wants. But it’s though very hard to choose between similar schools. To understand their specialties you will need a lot of well-structured information. And that’s where Be Open Foundation can be more than helpful”.

Ben James, 

Architect, founder, advisor of Design Disco

“A valuation like this is useful — since not everything is reputation, this usually comes from many years ago and may be outdated. Having to be very versatile nowadays and the great variety of cultures there are, ways of thinking, learning and technological advances, I believe that the main thing is to adapt to the maximum with all these great changes.

The criteria that I would recommend when exposing the possibilities of creative learning, would be the mind of the person in itself, since each mind works differently, learns and thinks differently, learning can not be the same for everyone, it has to be adaptable; It would also be important to learn from all possible cultures and customs, because in this way creativity will increase, because we will see a much broader world with more perspective, I would also try to know all the techniques and know all the tools that I have and I can dispose, to know what and how I can do. Of course, I would be interested to talk whenever I could with creative people to exchange opinions and ways of doing things. And I would work it every day, both thinking and practicing in the area that corresponds to me. In addition to the environment and to all the advances that are happening, we have to keep this in mind, since the planet is from and for all of us who are and will be.

And these criteria are completely related to the ones used by BE OPEN since not everything is the fame that a university and its professors can have, for me it is more important, what they really can do for each student, what they adapt to the new times, the opportunities that offer, and that really the teachings are useful for each one and all of the students, and at the same time interesting, and applying all the available tools”.

Alberto Castiñeira, 

Artist, also known as Hasu Art