Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Education at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London
London College of Fashion (LCF), University of the Arts London (UAL), has been nurturing creative talent for over a century. It offers courses in all things fashion, from business and psychology to design, performance and fashion curation. It has over 60 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and 165 short courses. It is one of the six constituent colleges of University of the Arts London, which in 2022 was ranked 2nd for the 4th year in a row in Art and Design in the QS World University Rankings.
UAL delivers one of London’s largest programmes of creative professional development and forms a significant part of the capital’s creative research and design, innovation and enterprise infrastructure, making a unique scale of contribution to London’s creative economy, which in turn supports economic growth across the UK and globally. UAL’s Knowledge Exchange (KE) activity is shaped by its creative practices and pedagogies, collaborations, communities and public in activities strategically focusing on addressing challenges and/or places. You can read more on UAL’s KE wider institutional context here.
A distinctive characteristic of UAL’s KE approach is the high level of involvement of their students in KE activities who develop and acquire expert knowledge and skills by applying them in situated contexts where they may work e.g. in different sectors, communities and places. UAL graduates, whom independent research has shown to be the most enterprising of any higher educational institution cohort in the UK. A study conducted in 2020 by Hitachi Capital, involving more than 9.5 million former students in the UK, revealed that UAL was ranked the number one university in the UK for students most likely to start and manage a business. 19.85% of UAL graduates went on to lead businesses and almost one in ten (9.21%) used their degrees to form their own start-ups. Additionally, in April 2022, London College of Fashion’s Fashion Business School was awarded the Small Business Charter Award in recognition of its commitment to supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and the local economy.
UAL has a dedicated careers and enterprise department, Careers and Employability who are committed to teaching, learning and assessment that enhances and recognises students’ employability, individuality and entrepreneurship. At LCF, the Graduate Futures team support students who want to start their own business, freelance or a career within an organisation to allow them to innovate, create and achieve.
The Centre for Fashion Enterprise based at LCF, is renowned for the enterprise workshops and expert advice it provides. To date, 750 fashion SME businesses have benefitted from CFE’s support, including designers that have gone on to become household names and whose businesses contribute hugely to the UK’s creative industries economy.
UAL Short Courses Ltd (UALSC) has over 1,000 unique courses and deliver to over 10,000 learners annually. Through its dedicated business unit at London College of Fashion, UALSC currently delivers over 450 courses per year to a wide audience including: industry professionals, SMEs, pre-start-up companies and the general public.