Last year saw a record number of teenagers being awarded university places in England and Scotland, with some studies showing that up to 2.3 million students started university in the UK alone. This represents 4% of the population descending on unknown towns and familiarising themselves with new buildings, campuses and procedures. This also means that universities themselves must consider how best to deal with this influx of people every year - especially with a responsibility to ensure that they’re kept safe.
Crime figures around universities can seem concerning. About 20% of student robberies occur in the first few weeks of the academic year, as people get accustomed to their new surroundings, and studies show that 19% of full-time students were victims of crime over a one-year period. In response to this, many universities implement security measures to help keep both employees, students and the premises themselves safe. This can be an additional expense, and potentially an additional weight on university staff, but this should not outweigh the benefits of prioritising safety and security on university campuses. Here we highlight some of the main benefits of implementing security at universities.
Students are shopping around more Due to increased costs, students are shopping around more and more when it comes to choosing a place to study. It’s no longer a decision simply based on the quality of a facility’s academic reputation. Now, prospective students are interested in the quality of services, and security and safety measures are being considered. Experts acknowledge that while some universities are taking steps to improve student safety, there is a lack of consistency across the sector. This can prove to be particularly off-putting for international students, who make up 19% of all UK university students, as they want to feel safe in a new country.
Reducing criminal damage
A university campus can, and should, feel like a safe place for people. The other side of this issue is that, unfortunately, it can lull people into a false sense of security. This may mean that people leave personal belongings at risk of theft, including electronic items like laptops and smartphones, as well as potentially leaving halls accommodation unsecured when leaving the building. To mitigate these concerns around personal belongings and criminal damage or theft, many universities have adopted card entry systems, such as speed gates and tripod turnstiles, for areas like halls of residence and campus libraries, to limit access to only people who have an activated access card. This can help to reduce outsiders gaining access to secure areas.
Protecting expensive equipment
Universities are often composed of a lot of different departments - all of which can require specialist equipment. From expensive machinery and specialised tools to the vast number of computers, cameras, laptops and other technology that’s housed within a university campus - it’s essential for security to be prioritised to keep these valuable items safe. There are many ways that this can be achieved. Card entry systems can be used to restrict access to non-approved people, while out of hours card access systems can be used to restrict all access during non-work hours.
If you’re interested in finding out how you can protect your university campus, or want to know more about our secure entry solutions for higher educational builds get in touch today.