Howest gaming study programme again takes prestigious award

The Howest Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) study programme has received the international Grads in Games Educational Institution Award for the second time. Once again, Howest proves that its gaming study programme provides the level required by the gaming industry. In addition, one of the DAE students turned out to be the winner in the category Rising Star Character Art.

Both in 2017 and 2018, Howest DAE was chosen the Best Game Design & Development School – freely translated: the best gaming study programme in the world. And now, the University of Applied Sciences Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen was also attributed the international Grads in Games award for the second time. This award rewards universities and universities of applied sciences that make the greatest efforts and deliver the best educational quality to optimally prepare their students for a career in the gaming industry.

The jury commented as follows: “As a previous winner of this award as well as previous winners of best GameDev school in The Rookies in 2017 and 2018, Howest has an incredible track record of achievement. Additionally, they have also been fundamental in the further development of the Flemish game industry, partnering with the likes of Larian Studios to boost the industry locally as well as introducing two new courses focusing on 3D animation and sound design within the past year.”

Internationally on the map

“In 2018 we won this award for the first time, but this time we are perhaps just a little bit prouder”, says the study department coordinator Rik Leenknegt. “Year after year, it is a hard fight together with my young team to deliver the level required by the industry, but apparently it is still very much appreciated. With our joint forces we succeed in putting Flanders internationally on the gaming sector map straight out of Kortrijk. Moreover, the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds [freely translated as the Flemish Audio-visual Fund] has also noticed it. Shortly after the announcement, we received an email in which the principal-intendant congratulated us and emphasized our importance for the growing gaming industry in Flanders.”

Students also rewarded with prizes

The quality of the DAE study programme also resulted in awards for the students. The third-year student Gia-Han Lam was the very best in the category ‘Rising Star Character Art’ with ‘The princess of Ambrosia’. Yano Claeys won a nomination in the same category.

Spread over the three years, 1,200 students are now following the bachelor study programme Digital Arts and Entertainment at Howest, 230 of which are international students. Since the start-up of the gaming study programme over 600 alumni joined well-known names in the gaming world, such as Fortnite, Game Tactics, The Division 2, Overwatch, Horizon Zero Dawn and Star Wars: Jedi.