Contributing to Safer Universities and Colleges

Boon Edam Limited | Blog | February 2019

Higher education facilities are big business. Billions of pounds are being spent year on year to update tired or out-of-date campuses within the United Kingdom alone. With new developments comes better, more accurate forms of student safety requirements, but the one size fits all method is gradually wearing thin. 

Key questions that surround the design stages of educational campuses can range from the variety of buildings, space between buildings and building opening hours. And of course, looking at where security can be implemented within a campus without there being negative impacts on the usability and overall look of the campus. All of these key thoughts are important aspects to consider to find an effective yet aesthetically comprisable solution for student safety. A well thought out and researched physical security plan will help to answer all questions that surround security in the education industry. Having a plan in place will allow security managers to better understand the campuses security needs such as; what areas mitigate risk and how best to respond to security incidents. For more information about including security within an educational institution, learn more here.

Assembling a

Reliable Security Team.

Student and staff safety lies at the heart of campus security. Those who utilise public spaces within the campus grounds should feel safe at all hours of the day/night. Naturally, smaller in size institutions typically have fewer security considerations when comparing larger campuses. For example, one individual may be responsible for monitoring entryways and another monitoring the CCTV. The larger the campus, the bigger the requirements for multiple security responsibilities. University campuses have a mixture of security personnel that range from;

  • Duty Managers
  • Security Supervisors
  • Security Guards
  • Security Managers
  • Patrol Officers
  • And more...

These roles allow for a campus to be open 24 hours a day with 365 days year protection. The more complex the campus is, the more personnel will be required to fill certain gaps in security around the institution. Different professional training can be required per role. Reliability can come in the form of body regulations. SIA (Security Industry Authority) regulates the private security industry. This regulation covers many roles professionally such as; manned guarding, door supervision, cash and valuables in transit and public space surveillance using CCTV. Access control solutions such as speedgates can help elevate any gaps in manned security regarding building access. 


Access Control In

Higher Education Facilities.

Regardless of the many types of security needed, monitoring and patrolling user access to various buildings should be the primary focus of any security plan. There is a variety of solutions that confidently keep unauthorised individuals out of intended secure spaces such as speed gates, security doors and access gates. All of which work hand in hand with creating an optimum security plan to cover every area. Discover how many universities we have helped secure that were ranked in the Times Safest Universities here.

Universities are busy places, especially during high term times. It's important to understand where the high traffic areas are, and how to keep them secure without impacting the usability or time it takes to enter an area. So, the location is key. Not all security solutions are about deterring unwanted visitors. Access control should combine elements that improve alerting responsible personnel of an incident as well as preventing and monitoring. Technology now allows systems to integrate with one another sending intruder or alarm notifications to the closest security manager or authorised user.


Getting the

Balance Just Right.

University for most students is all about the experience. Defining an 'experience' can include factors such as; usefulness, usability, findability, credibility, desirability, accessibility and value. All of which are key design drivers that in turn affect the overall impression of university visitors. These experience considerations can fall down into the tangible elements of campus too, such as doors and security products. Important and compulsory touch points for campus users must always be included in a physical security plan. Combining a good level of security with high usability ratings can be a difficult balancing act. The higher the security rating of an entryway could mean slower throughputs and lower user experience, where an entryway that rates too low in security might not be worth the investment at all.

Students and staff will be using the campus on a nearly daily basis, and they want to feel safe and welcome during their time there. Security should help protect users, but not make them feel uncomfortable. This is especially true for those students that live on campus - no one wants to live somewhere that feels too restricting. When putting together a physical security plan, consider the potential impact on the campuses daily users before going ahead with installing any security.


New and

Old Technology.

All technology old or new can be improved, adapted and updated. When reviewing the current technology of a campus, questions can range from; is it serving its full purpose, does it work without glitches, does it still look in date and does it integrate with your current technology. All of these questions relate to both currently implemented security solutions as well as potential instalments. As part of a physical security plan, decisions will need to be made regarding whether it's possible to update or retrofit the current security solutions, or if they will need replacing altogether.

Some solutions may simply be too outdated for the 21st century. Student cards are a requirement for enrolled students, they serve the purpose of identification and should allow them into areas or buy products within secured facilities. Student cards are created with an integrated reader, this means that data can be read and approved when being scanned by an access control product. The purpose of updating current technology is to modernise, but also to ensure that products are being made the most of and utilised properly.

Remember to

Revisit and Update.

If you follow these steps, you can be sure you have a robust physical security plan for your educational campus. Be sure to revisit the plan on a regular basis, particularly as issues arise, to ensure you can continue to provide enhanced security on your educational campus. Discuss your entry solution with our team:
T. 01233 505300

Discover other project inspiration here or to learn more about how we help specify the right solution for clients projects, discover our process here.

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