Halls of residence and the smartphone

Friday, 23rd October, 2015

In this blog we discuss the issue students face when starting university and moving into halls of residence. University is already daunting enough without having to make things extra complicated for your new intake as they move into their new home. AIT can make this experience a little easier for them, using technology that students know and love, the smartphone. Below we explain how, by using the latest technology, settling into their halls of residence needn’t be that overwhelming.

Keeping students safe

When a student first gets to their halls, they have no idea who they’ll be living with… They’ll be going through many new experiences and have a lot to deal with being on their own, often for the first time. They’ll have no parental support and guidance and will have to live with a group of strangers which will be a very new experience for them. With this in mind the most important thing you can do is to make the transition as easy as possible This can be done in a variety of ways. Secure access to their halls is a really important element, contributing to their sense of safety (and reassuring their parents!). A student’s room is their safe place and their first home away from home, which is why with a secure and easy to use access control solution in place your students will feel reassured, safe and looked after.

Students and their smartphones

If you’ve been around a college or university campus you’ll notice that students are in love with their smartphones...Yes, it’s a romantic story; in fact they’re slightly obsessed! From texting to listening to music, playing games, checking out the latest apps or talking to friends they are constantly interacting with their phones.

It was only a matter of time before the technology was developed to use the smartphone for more and more activities, from banking to paying for things and now as credentials for gaining access to buildings and university accommodation.

And as smartphones are definitely more important to students than a traditional access control ID card or fob would ever be, students look after their phones and will rarely forget them, unlike the ID card or fob, so it makes sense to use this much loved technology to your advantage!

As students today are so technologically advanced and as mention, always seem to have their smartphones to hand, having as much of their campus life on their smartphones, including their halls of residence and university access keys/rights, allows you to extend the use of their devices. This also offers the ‘cool factor’ that students like and shows that you, as an organisation, understand the importance of using new technology to enhance their student experience..

The benefits for administrators

Using smartphones instead of ID cards and fobs for access around campus and at halls of residence, is not only great for students but for administrators too. They will no longer need to print ID cards for every new intake or manage the replacement of lost or stolen cards.  Instead a mobile ‘key’ is issued by the administrator directly to the student’s verified smartphone the obvious benefits to this are; saving staff time and costs, saving costs on card printers, ink and anything else needed to provide ID cards or fobs.

If a smartphone is lost, stolen or broken you can remotely remove old credentials and new ones can be reissued without even having the student present. There is an extra layer of security with a smartphone as they tend to have a PIN, so if someone were to steal a student’s phone, they’d be unlikely to be able to gain access before the credentials had been revoked.

Meet student expectations

It’s inevitable that for those young people who have grown up in a technical world, their expectations are to be able to use their phones in more and more areas of their lives including at university or college. Seeing the benefits and understanding them, is essential for those organisations who want to attract and retain these young people to their campuses.

If you’re interested in learning more about smartphones and access control please take a look at the JustIn – smartphone access control page on our website – click here or  you can call us on 0113 273 0300 and speak to one of our access control team.