Creating more productive environments for better learning

Sponsored: With increased enrolment, one unavoidable consequence is greater demand on facilities and student services

The UK university sector is again experiencing significant growth, with the total number of students in higher education for the 2016/17 academic term being more than 2.3 million – an increase of 2 per cent on the previous year.

While increased enrolment will be welcome news to the sector, one unavoidable consequence is greater demand on facilities and student services. More is expected of universities than ever before. They are not just places of education, but provide homes for students and employment to many thousands. Increased collaboration between universities and industry means that campuses are evolving into hubs of research, innovation and commercial activity.

But with increased security concerns, indoor air quality issues, rising energy and operating costs, aging buildings and strict environmental targets, it can be difficult for institutions to maintain effective learning environments within tightening budget constraints.

Honeywell Building Solutions has worked with universities around the world for more than 30 years to create productive environments that promote better learning. A solutions-focussed approach maps a clear path to establishing a safe, secure, healthy and energy-efficient campus experience.

Improving Student Experience

Student experience is an important issue in the education sector, and with comfort having a huge impact on productivity & concentration, solutions such as Outcome Based Services helps to maintain the optimum environment. It is also a growing concern for universities given that student feedback and experience now influence league tables.

In many universities around the world today, students have to wait until their first day for plastic access passes. As their surroundings are completely unfamiliar, they can often get lost while navigating the campus. Also, they have no easy way to share feedback on their experience or how they think it could be improved. To address this, Honeywell has launched the Vector Occupant App. This allows students to use their smart phone to access buildings rather than a plastic pass, as well as access maps and leave feedback on rooms and facilities with an Uber-style rating system. This visibility allows universities to prioritise changes, helping to improve the overall student experience.

An open future

Despite the majority of its 174,000 enrolled students studying off-campus, The Open University’s 48-hectare site at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes is home to 3,500 members of academic, research, administrative, and support staff.

Honeywell works with the University to manage and maintain the fire alarm and detection systems in 45 buildings on the main campus at and six additional buildings in major cities across the UK. Among the programme’s main objectives are enhanced integrity of the fire alarm and detection systems, a streamlined maintenance programme, rationalisation of the systems used across the estate and minimisation of the number of false alarms and unnecessary fire brigade call-outs.

As a result, the maintenance programme is more efficient and more cost-effective – helping to reduce operational cost