The number of UK universities offering their students the ability to borrow a device from self-service lockers has increased year on year.
A survey carried out earlier this year found that 67% of UK universities were now offering their students the ability to borrow a device from self-service lockers and that a whopping 94% do so by using the LapSafe® solution.
So, why do universities find this type of service so popular?
● 24 x 7
Almost half of the universities surveyed said that their reason for automating their manual laptop loan service was to offer students the ability to borrow or return a device at any time of day or night without staff interaction.
● Agile/flexible working
The next popular reason for offering this type of service is to make the most of space available. More and more universities are replacing traditional PC desks with self-service device loan lockers which take up minimal space, allowing areas to become agile spaces where students can either work on their own or collaboratively in a group.
● Attract more students
The ability to borrow a device from the lockers made a university more attractive to students when deciding where they want to study. Often students ask for more laptops and lockers to be made available across campus and not just in libraries.
● Bridging the digital divide
Even in this day and age, not all students have access to their own laptop or tablet. Therefore, it is a must that universities have a pool of devices that can be loaned to these students. Self-service lockers offer the ideal solution as fully charged devices can be shared quickly and easily.
● Easy device management
IT staff love the self-service lockers because each locker bay can be networked, allowing devices to be updated remotely. They also make light work of asset management, ensuring devices are returned and, if required, fines for not returning devices can be issued.
What makes LapSafe®’s self-service lockers so special?
LapSafe®’s self-service lockers are the most sophisticated and intelligent self-service lockers on the market and the most popular lockers within education. The lockers can loan a device or multiple items at any time of day.
Devices such as laptops, Chromebooks and tablets can be fully charged and then automatically loaned to borrowers without staff interaction.
LapSafe® lockers always loan the best charged device and charge all devices simultaneously in the fastest possible time. Each locker bay can be networked to allow IT technicians to automatically update devices from remote locations.
The lockers can be integrated with the university’s library management system or work stand-alone loaning devices similar to that of a library book. The lockers are intuitive, so little or no training is required to use them.
What are the most popular devices loaned?
The most popular device being loaned to students from the lockers is the laptop, with only 4% loaning tablets and 2% loaning Chromebooks.
Some universities offer students the ability to charge and store their own device supporting BYOD (bring your own device). The lockers can be configured to accommodate both.
What is the most popular loan time?
Four to six hours is the most popular loan period, closely followed by one to three hours. Around 13% offer students a longer loan period of around seven-plus hours.
Advertising the service to students
We asked our customers how they advertise the service to their students. The most common way of doing this is via internal signage, website or social media. Word of mouth soon gets round as students share news of the service with their colleagues.
Average loans per month?
Prior to the Covid pandemic, an average of 12,000 loans were carried out each month across our customer sites.
Are these lockers just for use in the libraries?
Most universities deploy self-service within their library or resource areas, however over the last few years they are expanding this service to other faculties around the campus.
Student and staff feedback
In our survey, we asked students and staff for their feedback on the service. Here are just a few of their comments:
● Staff and students find the service really useful.
● All the feedback we have had has been really positive. A few students have commented that it’s the best investment the university has made!
● Students like the service. Just want more devices.
● Yes, love the service, it works well.
● Overall, it is great!
● I love the freedom it gives the students to choose where and how they work – that’s priceless!
● The proof is mainly in their usage, and we have found that the students love them.
● Nice features, user friendly.
● Students find it very useful.
● We now have more face-to-face time with our students.
During the pandemic, LapSafe® introduced several ways to make loaning the devices safer for students when they returned. The lockers now offer the ability to hold back devices to allow for cleaning, or for bacteria and viruses to naturally die, before loaning them out again. They are now manufactured using anti-microbial paint to offer protection from the spread of bacteria or viruses.
LapSafe® has also launched a UV-C Sanitise Station that can be used in addition to the lockers themselves or used standalone. It can sanitise a laptop in under 15 seconds!
Visit www.lapsafe.com for more information.