When students decide where to attend university, the campus visit experience can go a long way toward winning prospects over. Schools face steep competition for students—in 2018 only 38% of higher education institutions met their enrollment goals—and the overall student experience is a major factor.
Today’s students, raised in a tech-driven, connected world, expect on-demand experiences. Savvy colleges and universities are investing in a smart campuses to meet the needs of these digital natives.
A smart campus uses networked technologies to facilitate collaboration, use resources more efficiently, enhance security, save money, and make the campus a more connected and enjoyable place. With a smart campus, institutions can connect systems such as lighting, electronics, appliances, cameras, door locks, and more to create seamless and interconnected experiences for students, faculty members and administrators.
Benefits and Capabilities of a Smart Campus
According to a recent survey of higher education officials, 43% agreed that smart campus technology could boost student retention. Half of higher education officials surveyed said a properly designed smart campus concept would result in significant cost savings.
But these aren’t the only benefits and capabilities a smart campus can offer.
Lowers Operational Costs
When business decisions are driven by data, operational costs go way down. Smart campuses use powerful analytical tools and robust reporting capabilities to combine information about:
- Resource utilization
- Student preferences
- Facility management practices
- Travel patterns
- Transportation scheduling
This integrated data allows higher education institutions to identify and realize efficiencies that were previously impossible.
For example, when universities monitor student travel patterns, they can design campus transit systems to optimize routes and increase services during peak hours more efficiently. The more universities know about their students, the more precisely they can design systems to lower costs while still meeting student needs.
Improves Energy Efficiency
There are various ways a smart campus can use technology to save on resources. A smart university campus, for example, can use networked smart lighting to reduce use and conserve energy during less busy times. Motion sensors and data in use patterns help administrators determine critical lighting banks that must remain on and those that can be left off unless needed.
Parking is another area that can be improved with smart campus tech. Using campus Wi-Fi, smart sensors, and video cameras, students can find available parking spaces without circling the campus in their vehicle. This reduces traffic, cuts down on accidents, and reduces fuel consumption by students looking for parking all over campus.
In addition, campuses can save on water, electricity, and other resources by leveraging data from smart campus tools.
Provides Better Student and Visitor Experiences
Today’s students and campus visitors are more tech-savvy than ever, and thanks to the Amazon Effect, they expect more customized experiences. A smart campus supports this customization with features like built-in wayfinding and navigation on their smart devices, helping everyone get around more quickly and easily. Our AR maps overlays real-time, location-specific data (gathered by smart campus sensors) into reality using a smartphone or smart-wearable device.
Campus security also benefits from smart campus technology. Connected surveillance cameras provide real-time information to campus security, and smart integrations allow students and visitors to quickly report problems with location information instantly available. Networked emergency sensors like smoke detectors, fire alarms, and other essentials are automatically monitored to protect students and allow a quick response. In the case of an emergency, universities can use smart campus technology to send instant alerts and even provide directions to the nearest exit or safe area.
Administrators can also use 3D heat map visualizations from WRLD to render dense datasets in an intuitive view that makes the information easier to digest and understand. One possible application involves taking parking and pedestrian data to visualize traffic patterns in 3D, directly overlaid on the virtual campus. You could also map usage data to visualize which campus areas are the most and the least utilized, then adjust resources accordingly.
Smart campus technology enhances campus life in other ways as well. Student collaboration is made simpler and more frequent through integrated communication services that help people connect in meaningful and useful ways. Payments at campus cafeterias, restaurants, and book stores are easier through near-field technologies and smart cards that automatically deduct funds from student accounts. Students can also use real-time occupancy systems to see what study rooms or specialized equipment is available for use (without walking all the way across campus to find out).
Create Your Smart Campus
Smart campuses are becoming more prevalent, and as the technology develops, integrations will grow more powerful and provide more benefits to students and faculties alike. 3D maps have the power to bring the entirety of smart campus technologies together into a single, fully-navigable platform that lowers operational costs, increases resource efficiency, offers better student and visitor experiences, and much more.
Contact WRLD to get started creating your smart campus today!