In recent years, progressive access control providers have focused on integrated solutions that do much more than guard doors. Access control is now smart and slick, and can be applied across an entire University estate to not only facilitate effective security, but also boost efficiency and reduce costs.
This is in sharp contrast to the more traditional approach – card readers that were used solely to manage student and staff access to University buildings. Although effective in controlling front doors, earlier systems had limitations; and re-programming, maintenance and dealing with lost cards had become a source of frustration for Estates and Facilities Management staff.
Grosvenor Technology is at the forefront of access control development, thanks to our browser-based solution, Sateon. We currently work with Estates teams across 18 higher education institutions in the UK to ensure that access control helps them to secure, run and improve their campuses and facilities.
Easier administration, registration and enrolment
Sateon regularly inducts over 10,000 students on an enrolment day. The system generates an access card for every student, which is unique to each user. Administrators can regulate a student’s access to the parts of campus that are relevant to each course, and monitor both that – and their attendance – over time. A chemistry student, for example, may only have access to the labs when they’re taking a practical module – while their friend studying history would only be able to access communal areas of the chemistry block to meet for a coffee.
Sateon can also assign accommodation to students (ensuring that those with additional needs receive a room with the appropriate facilities) and provide them with open access to university leisure and catering facilities; while preventing them from accessing the gym unless they become a member. Staff can also repurpose rooms without having to reprogramme individual access privileges.
Sateon integrates seamlessly with student databases like SITS, so if a student’s course or learning patterns change, their access can be altered automatically. Sateon provides effective security, but minimises security administration.
Providing additional revenue opportunities
If Badminton isn’t proving a popular campus sport, then rather than courts lying empty, access control allows the sports centre team to generate revenue by allowing public bookings – without the need for additional headcount to supervise. Every player receives their own card, which restricts their use only to the specific facility, and to changing/communal areas. The system will give them a gentle reminder when their time on court is up by automatically dimming the lights to half power – bright enough for them to find their way out of the building, but not to carry on playing for free!
Environmental and cost benefits
Access control’s integration with Building Management Systems can help a University not only save money, but enhance its Corporate Social Responsibility.
When a student swipes out of their accommodation, lighting and HVAC to their room are automatically shut down. This facility also works for lecture halls and seminar rooms – to give staff unique control over heating, lighting and IT facilities. And in communal study areas such as the university library, rich data can monitor footfall so that staff levels and lighting are adjusted to meet demand.
Ensuring that the whole estate is covered
Because Sateon is browser-based, it’s easy to integrate access control across an entire campus – even for city centre Universities or those in more than one location. The system can be programmed to take on board different access requirements for faculties or buildings. If the business school has an open day, pre-selected doors to lecture halls, catering and the library can be opened for prospective students; but study areas can be kept off limits.
Sateon can also help ensure that all bases are covered in terms of campus security. The distant North Entrance next to the High Street can automatically be locked at 8pm to prevent unauthorised access, and then re-opened for student at 7am for students, without the need for a security guard to physically unlock the gate.
Want to learn more?
Sateon’s one-card solution means that students can use the same card to access their halls of residence, lecture halls, sport facilities and local buses. Or, if one card is still too many for students to take care of, why not contact us to discuss developing a campus where students’ smartphones hold the key to access control?
Grosvenor Technology has developed a Prospectus for University Estate, FM and Security staff who want to learn more. ‘Accessing education – securing your campus’s future’ – can be downloaded from https://www.grosvenortechnology.com/case-studies/education/
Andy Rainforth is Sales & Marketing Director at Grosvenor Technology