International Design Education in Figures

3,035 – that’s how many state and privately managed design universities have been identified as part of the study for the White Book: 989 on the American and 1,232 on the Asian continent; 691 in Europe, 71 in Africa, and 52 in Australia.

design schools worldwide

These figures are not reliably substantiated or documented. For the White Book on the Future of Design Education, author René Spitz has undertaken research as thoroughly as possible on the basis of publicly available sources. The figures represent the findings, but they can only be regarded as a starting point for even more systematic research. They need to be verified.

The questions as to what is considered a university and how the concept of design is to be precisely defined would also have to be discussed and clarified because historical and cultural peculiarities differ widely. Accordingly, this illustration represents the same as the White Book does: a first attempt to address such a complex topic as design education and consider it from an international perspective. This will be one of the tasks the iF Design Foundation will continue to devote itself to.


Criteria for the survey

Based on a selection of countries, the survey includes state and privately run academic institutions that provide tertiary education (ISCED levels 6 to 8) and a minimum 2-year program. Space-related studies (e.g., urban design, interior design, stage design) are not included, but fashion, textile, jewelry, film, and photographic design are. The list is based on publicly available sources from the respective authorities and it does not claim to be exhaustive.

Status: January 12, 2021.


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We would like to update this overview continuously. If you know precise figures from your country, please get in touch!