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Smart Campus –
Smart Campus creates a new identity for universities and students

Smart Campus versus traditional learning environment – Digital natives today expect more than a dusty library and a professor writing formulas on the blackboard in the lecture hall, and not just since the coronavirus pandemic. But how do traditional approaches and the latest technologies differ in terms of the learning experience? And what are the advantages of a smart university?

Old world versus new world: How learning and teaching are changing on a Smart Campus

University life is constantly changing. It is not only the introduction of uniform Bachelor’s and Master’s systems that illustrates the generation gap when it comes to studying. In the past – and not so long ago – a typical day for Michael the student looked like this: His professor stands at the front of the lectern and teaches. He and his fellow students learn from used books and hand in their printed seminar papers or projects at the end of the semester.

A Smart Campus or smart university should offer more room for lateral thinking. Digital natives are all about social networking and being mobile. Students want to stay connected – with friends, family, lecturers or other university staff, digital curriculum, live lectures and much more. Thus, the expectations of the university are also changing. Potential first-year students who aspire to this new kind of campus life expect a great and digital university experience that makes learning possible even in exceptional situations.

Definition of a Smart Campus: What exactly constitutes a ‘smart campus’?

What exactly makes a university campus ‘smart’? As with many other smart applications and experiences, it is about communicating and exchanging data with other systems, devices or the internet. A digital campus starts with ubiquitous, reliable and wireless connectivity – indoors and out: a digitally connected university that uses these digital applications in everyday life on campus in a wide variety of situations. The options range, for example, from preventive monitoring to individual room control and intelligent access control.

In a nutshell: A smart campus connects disparate areas such as devices, applications and people to enable new services and improve efficiency and the student experience.

Smart Campus in practice: Digital future is created through digital education

Directions, electronic locks or lockers, mobile check-in in the student flat, automated book lending, intelligent parking, mobile booking of study rooms, ordering food in the cafeteria or checking the availability of fitness equipment via app… all these are examples of smart campus and building applications. Whether you are looking for the room number for the upcoming seminar, the lecturers’ offices or a particular book in the library, something is always changing on the premises. A network of Smart Campus applications gives you an overview, facilitates management, for example, as in a company head office. They show students, teachers and academic staff what is happening around them and guide them to their destination as quickly as possible.

In practice, a digital campus can be divided into three categories:

  1. Smart living
  2. Smart Learning and University
  3. Smart Safety and Security

All areas can help to increase student engagement. This is important to ease their transition into university life and to help them use all the resources they need to succeed. Digital universities bring science to life.

The Smart Campus serves as an interface between Smart Homes and Smart Cities.

A smart university building serves as an interface between Smart Homes and Cities. But what does it mean? Through an intelligently networked everyday university life, digital natives are offered new experiences that they already know and use from their private lives. At the same time, a progressive higher education organisation offers entirely new opportunities to increase operational efficiency, just as in a company, to save costs and to improve public safety. An example of a Smart City – where a smart university campus forms a sub-project – is the Smart City Eichenzell project funded by BMI.

A common technological infrastructure as a driver of innovation?

A future scenario? No, all this can already be reality: when people, devices and applications use a common technological infrastructure, they can interact with each other and enable experiences that were not possible before. For instance, the digital student card is already being considered in many places – making traditional card handling superfluous in favour of mobile applications via smartphone.

Then add Internet of Things (IoT) networks, such as sensors or access technologies, to tie the campus infrastructure into the IP network – and you can throw in lighting, heating, cooling and power systems, as well as security monitoring, physical access systems and parking facilities.

In this way, your educational institution becomes a platform for innovation. Our goal at SAG Smart Access: to jointly create added value for operators and students with intelligent solutions.

Advantages of a smart campus: Better education for all

The benefits are manifold:

  • Designing housing and learning to meet needs: Smart living
  • Creating more flexible learning environments: Smart Learning
  • Modern and digital work processes
  • Higher work efficiency
  • Better balance between passive learning, active research and collaboration
  • Offer the most popular courses to more students
  • Make learning spaces for efficient work – alone or together with fellow students – flexibly bookable
  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Reduce electricity costs
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Economic success
  • Security
  • Better quality of work and life for higher education students and employees
  • Student satisfaction: Digitalisation of the university campus is an important argument when choosing a university
How learning and teaching are changing on a Smart Campus

How to get started: How to build your Smart Campus

In Germany, tuition-free universities have led to enrolment success for international students. Yet this also creates new challenges – such as a lack of revenue to fund research. A network of intelligent buildings could provide a remedy here. It reduces operating costs on campus while providing a platform for innovation and technology for both faculty and students.

  1. New learning models on a Smart Campus

The use of networked computer technology is creating new learning models that fit the lifestyle of digital natives. If every university student has access to audio and video conferencing tools at any time, they can initiate or participate in a collaborative work session in seconds. This also allows several students to work together on the same project without having to be in the same physical location. What’s more, neither the students nor the teachers suffer from the loss of physical presence in exceptional situations.

  1. Digital portals

Digital portals are already widespread, not only in companies. Most universities already use digital learning management systems. This way, students can easily access the portals at any time and from any personal device. Grades, assignments, syllabus, documents – everything is available to students.

  1. Keyless access and access management

SAG Smart Access offers digital access solutions consisting of software and hardware – from stand-alone options to networked systems for doors and lockers and their integration into technology-controlled operating platforms – both on university campuses and for student housing. The goal is efficient organisation and automation of buildings and universities. For example, staff and students on a Smart Campus have secure access to doors, lockers and furniture, as well as the resources protected behind them. Access is possible from anywhere – directly from the smartphone, individual permissions, time-limited and provided in real time.

Our four solution concepts ‘Keyless Access’, ‘intelligent cabinet locking’, ‘Preventive Monitoring’ and ‘Individual Room Control’ are explained in detail on the following pages.

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    System requirements

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    • Windows 10
    • Intel Core i3 (Broadwell as a minimum)
    • or equivalent
    • 4 GB RAM or more
    • > 500MB free disk space
    • Full-HD (4k recommended)
    • Ethernet port (100Mbit minimum) 1 USB port

    Server
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    • Windows 10
    • Intel Core i5 (Broadwell as a minimum)
    • or equivalent
    • 8 GB RAM or higher
    • >6 GB free disk space
    • Data backup option
    • Ethernet port 100 Mbit
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