Howest again in the top 3 for Best Game Design & Development Schools in the World 2022

Howest's Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) has again secured a podium place in the 'Best Game Design & Development School' category of the internationally renowned competition The Rookies. After victories in 2017, 2018 and 2021, the silver medal once again confirms the outstanding quality of Kortrijk’s game training program. The successive top rankings also translate into an increasing influx of international students. This year, almost half of the first-year students come from abroad.

As with past editions, this second place acts as a great business card for Howest's DAE program. The fact that The Rookies is a competition with international appeal also plays a part in the strong growth of international enrolment. "This year, we’ve grown from 1,350 to 1,500 students. A quarter of the overall DAE student population is international, and nearly half of the first-year students come from abroad," says program manager Rik Leenknegt.

Unparalleled track record

The winner of this edition was Think Tank Training Center from Canada, but over the last five years Howest has maintained the best average ranking by far. Leenknegt said, “The fact that the industry places us among the front-runners, time and time again, proves that here in Kortrijk we never take our finger off the pulse of what’s going on. Of all the schools in the top 20, Howest also offers by far the greatest value for money. Our game training therefore not only belongs to the international top in terms of quality, it is also more affordable than our counterparts abroad. What makes this award even more important is that the jury consists of experts from the game industry. They confirm that our students' portfolios meet the needs of the professional field and are 'industry-ready'. You couldn't ask for better as a practice-oriented bachelor's degree.”

Weapon in the war for talent

The Rookies' ranking is determined by industry professionals based on the independent assessment of portfolios submitted by students. This latest ranking proves once again that Howest continues to deliver talent ready to shape the future of the gaming industry. "Of course, our alumni get opportunities to work abroad, but we also want to offer companies the chance to keep that talent in the region. One way we work to achieve this is with the Unwrap Festival that we are organizing from within Kortrijk’s own Eco System (with the City of Kortrijk, Howest, DAE Studios, Hangar K and Wilde Westen) for the second time on 13 and 14 October. Under the baseline 'The future of entertainment', we will combine a conference with a career fair and performances. It will be an international showcase par excellence of what we have to offer in the region," said Rik Leenknegt.

Kortrijk is the place to be for gaming

The city of Kortrijk has big ambitions to grow its game-based ecosystem, highlighting the role of the Golden Spurs City - and Howest in particular - in delivering talent far beyond city and national borders. "The talent is really out there," Rik Leenknegt explains. "With DAE Studios, for example, Howest has its own incubator where numerous promising start-ups have already emerged. For example, three of the four nominees in the 'Most promising start-up' category of the Belgian Game Awards 2021 got their start there. Such recognition helps bring out the entrepreneurial spirit of our region."

About he Rookies

The Rookies is an international competition for young, creative designers, innovators and artists. Students from different disciplines (animation, architecture, film production, next-gen gaming, illustration, industrial design, VR, web & mobile, etc.) can submit work for which they can win prizes: software licenses, hardware, internships, and scholarships. Founded in 2009 as a design competition, The Rookies quickly grew into a high-profile movement that also serves as an advisory organization to the world's biggest studios. Each year, The Rookies releases a ranking of the schools where they believe the industry's greatest talent can be spotted.

Check The full ranking in the 'Best Game Design & Development Schools in the World 2022' category