BE OPEN’s Unique Schools Ranking Suggests That There Is a Business Case for Integrating Creative Study Into the Curriculum

BE OPEN, the social and cultural foundation that supports creativity and innovation, has published a new rating to analyse policy, provision and excellence in arts teaching across secondary education in Europe.

The rating covers courses ranging from art to craft, design to film and writing to the performing arts in schools across the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain

Compiled by WIRED Consulting, the bespoke events arm of WIRED UK magazine, the rating uses existing reporting and statistics to rank twenty institutions in each country, with the five leaders highlighted.   Each entry includes notes on societal context, accessibility, funding, career opportunities, notable professors, alumni and innovative features. The report acknowledges that while education at upper secondary-level needs to reflect awareness of the professional landscape and career opportunities, it should also simply give pupils an appreciation of creative principles.  It incorporates interview insights from key creative figureheads, alumni, professors and creative education leaders across all eight countries.

BE OPEN’s aim in creating this report is to help define ‘excellence’ and recognise leadership in creative education, helping students make informed choices about what to study and where.

The ranking reveals that there are relatively few schools where one can gain a rich creative experience, most focusing on traditional studies and exam-based work.  However, those who do have the confidence to recognise the potential of creative education are now able to give proven argument for their approach, with pupils being more engaged and obtaining better results overall.  

“Art connects originality and discipline.  Artistic work promotes thinking” says Paul Droll, principal of the Gymnasium Achern, Baden-Württemburg, which leads the German section of the report.  

The interesting challenge”, says businesswoman, entrepreneur and BE OPEN Founder Elena Baturina, “is how to take creative teaching from school level through to career point, nurturing the skills of the next generation of creative professionals.  That is the focus for our recently launched educational platform BE OPEN Inside the Academy, which will support design students through three key elements: a ranking of higher education level creative courses, a programme to connect university study with business opportunities and an award to cover living expenses, annually, for one promising creative student.”