Just a ten-minute walk from the city centre, the University of Leeds is upgrading door security in much of its student accommodation to keep pace with changing technology and customer demand. One of the biggest and busiest centres of higher education in the UK, the university has more than 34,000 students and over 8,000 staff, making it the third largest employer in Leeds.

With such a large student population to house, its residence portfolio both on and off campus is impressive. It ranges from the Victorian architecture of Lyddon Hall to modern purpose-built apartments such as Storm Jameson Court, through to shared houses and a huge choice of flats and apartments run in partnership with the likes of UNITE and iQ Student Accommodation.

Wireless electronic access control system

The Residential Services team have chosen to upgrade their SALTO ProAccess management system to the latest versionStarting university is a really exciting time, and for many students it will be their first time living away from home so both they and their parents will want to know they will be living somewhere safe and secure.

Starting in 2010, Residential Services swapped out its previous mechanical keyed system and since then has been using a wire free electronic access control system from SALTO across much of its student accommodation. This has proven reliable providing the versatility and efficiency to manage in excess of 1737 doors across the campus.

But technology does not stand still, and many advances have taken place since the original installation. So, the Residential Services team have now chosen to upgrade their SALTO ProAccess management system to the latest version to take advantage of its increased functionality and features including the ability to use smart phones as access credentials.

Benefits of SALTO solution

Paul Carr, National Accounts Manager at SALTO Systems, says: “Our ProAccess SPACE Software is a powerful web-based access control management tool that enables users like the University of Leeds to programme access-time zones, manage different calendars and view audit trails from each door.

ProAccess SPACE Software's user-friendly web-based interface is simple to set up and configure"

Its user-friendly web-based interface is simple to set up and configure, giving them the flexibility and control they need. It balances security with accessibility, and advanced technology with affordability. By embedding such a high-performance electronic access control solution into their infrastructure, the University can protect people – both students and staff – as well as their assets and buildings.

Problems with key access control system

Student accommodation for instance, whatever shape it comes in, is usually busy with people moving from bedrooms to and from various facilities in and around the building. That means a lot of events for doors to deal with. If a room key is not handed in when one student leaves, is the room secure for its next occupant? If a key has been lost how do you cancel it and know the room is truly secure without changing out the lock? And regards to that lost key, has it been copied?

And for audit purposes, on a campus such as Leeds with such a massive choice of accommodation, how do you get an accurate security overview when there are literally thousands of keys in circulation? This is where ProAccess SPACE and electronic access control really scores.

And now, with changing technology, more people want everything to be accessed through their personal device. That should come as no surprise as today’s students are digital natives and they expect convenience to come as standard!

Delivering highest level of security

It is important that students are safe and secure and that access to their accommodation is strictly controlled"Simon Mulholland, Residence Refurbishment and Development Manager at the University of Leeds comments: “Living in University accommodation is a great way to experience student life, make new friends and feel part of our student community. We understand how important security is and it is a responsibility we take very seriously. It is important that students are safe and secure and that access to their accommodation is strictly controlled.

The SALTO system we’ve been running since 2010 now has proven track record with us so upgrading was a fairly straightforward decision and the latest version of the ProAccess SPACE software enables us to continue to deliver the highest levels of security combined with the most convenient and enjoyable experience of the learning environment – all as cost-effectively as possible.

Mobile credentials are an exciting application, after all when do you see a student without a smart phone, so this together with a number of other functions gives us enhanced productivity and control in a familiar but more powerful package.

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