Major changes are taking place in the world of education and research. At the epicentre of digital transformation and the future of the intelligent campus is the construction and intelligent management of network infrastructures, creating a unique vision, smart data and informed decisions for digital transformation, campus life, learning experiences and research success.
For all students, technology will underpin their university lives and affect their ability to grow and succeed in the future. We understand that when it comes to keeping students happy, universities must deliver on the technology front. But we also know that for many universities, realising their full potential for innovation can be an uphill struggle.
From staying in touch with family to socialising with new friends, lecture material to independent learning, streaming and social media – students thrive on technology. Whatever the complexities of keeping the network fit for purpose, universities have a duty of care to support students for life not just on, but beyond the campus – simply gaining a degree is no longer enough.
The network as a source of nourishment
Students live and breathe technology and expect to be connected at all times, to self-serve and enhance their learning through digital resources and online platforms. With research suggesting that 18-24 year olds own an average of 4.1 devices, it’s no surprise that being digitally connected is their lifeblood. The university campus is not only a place for students to learn, live and socialise; universities keep students’ hopes and dreams alive – and the quality of courses and teaching will only go part way to achieving this. Technology will do the rest.
Employers also expect students to have a certain level of technology savviness. If universities aren’t equipped to offer students and staff the resources they need to teach and learn, this will impact the reputation and success of the university.
A bright future
With every university fighting for its share of the student population, it will be the provision of technology that will set them apart. The pressure is already on to provide a robust and reliable network to support demands for strong WiFi access from the student population, and the use of connected devices within lectures to enhance learning. But the dependency on the network will only grow as teaching methods evolve to keep up – and universities must be ready for that, otherwise they will suffer long-term.
Universities need to think of themselves as mini broadband providers. They need to have a flexible enough network infrastructure to add new services and keep up with ever increasing student demand for bandwidth. Smart cities are a real draw for students, with the likes of Manchester standing as a shining example of technology transforming the local area and attracting new types of residents.
As part of their role in equipping students for life beyond their walls, universities have a key role to play in fostering innovation and supporting the development of smart cities, with a joined-up approach to connected technology. Having a strong and robust network infrastructure and a focus on technology provision will therefore not only enable them to attract and retain the best students, but will also enhance the university’s reputation within the wider industry and region.
At Axians, we look to building an infrastructure that has security and automation built in by design, allowing universities to deliver new services that are required today without the old architectures of the past. Consistently receiving and processing data from the network and turning it into actionable intelligence can constantly improve the usage of resources and enhance the student experience. Take a tour of the smart campus here: https://www.axians.co.uk/smartcampus
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