Access as a Differentiator for Higher Education

At the same time, safety and security are paramount for both students and parents. Students must both be safe and feel safe on campus, with the knowledge that only authorized students, faculty and staff can access facilities such as dorms or classrooms. Data security is also a vital concern for universities due to the sensitive personal nature of information stored on campus networks.   

How can campuses create an open, accessible learning and living environment without sacrificing safety and security? A unified access control system can help universities achieve both aims. Access control, done right, can help colleges and universities differentiate themselves from the competition.  

The Importance of Access on Campus 

Imagine the idyllic campus environment. Students and faculty move about freely, entering classrooms, living areas, labs and libraries at will. Logging on to shared workstations or personal devices provides instant access to all the digital resources of the university, from learning management systems to online textbooks and subscriptions. In between classes, students take advantage of the many campus amenities, such as gym facilities, cafeterias and cafés, bike sharing, and smart locker systems.  

Today’s students want and expect easy, convenient access to both educational resources and five-star amenities and services on campus. The range of amenities provided, and how easy they are to access and use, have become key differentiators for colleges and universities. So has campus safety. In the ideal college experience, students feel both free to move about and safe in doing so.  

Access control is a key component of a secure and accessible campus. Universities need to make it easy and convenient for students, faculty and staff to access both physical and digital resources. The system needs to be simple and frictionless for users, so they can transition between physical spaces easily and access all the resources and amenities they need. It also has to be highly secure and reliable, to ensure that only current, authorized students and staff can gain access to non-public locations and resources. A unified access control system using radio-frequency identification (RFID) or smartphone credentialing can do both.  

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A unified access system simplifies life for students and staff while ensuring physical and digital security on campus. Learn how colleges and universities can benefit from a universal system.

Creating the Perfect Campus Access System 

A smart, unified campus access system supports the idyllic campus environment that colleges and universities want to foster. With the right RFID readers, universities can create a unified system that leverages the student or faculty ID badge or a digital smartphone credential to access everything on campus.  

A unified system makes campus resources and amenities more accessible for everyone. Instead of remembering multiple passwords to log into various campus systems and applications, users can log into everything via Single Sign-on with their ID card or phone. Access to buildings, elevators, labs and equipment is easy, too—no need to worry about physical keys or PIN codes. The same card or credential can also be connected to payments systems for the cafeteria, library systems for material check out, smart locker systems, and a whole lot more. A unified system allows students and staff to transition easily between locations and activities. Convenient, reliable access eliminates many frustration points across the day and adds to the atmosphere of openness that is part of a great university experience.   

Unifying access control adds to campus safety, too. RFID and mobile smartphone credentials are more secure than physical keys, passwords or PINs. Students are less likely to share a picture ID or (heaven forbid!) personal cell phone than a password or physical key, and RFID or mobile credentials are highly resistant to hacking or cloning. Access to various locations, systems and resources can be assigned at a highly granular level, so administrators have complete control over who is allowed where and at what times. It is simple to terminate access from a central system when students graduate or if a card is lost or stolen. 

Finally, a unified access system gives campus administrators the data they need to optimize systems and create a better university experience. For example, it is possible to track which amenities students are using, and at which times, to enable better decisions about resource allocation, staffing, and new services.  

When the university campus feels safe, open, and accessible, students can focus their attention on the important things: getting a great education, making new friends, and enjoying life in their home away from home. A secure, reliable and easy-to-use access system can help colleges and universities create an environment that is inviting and engaging for both students and staff.  

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