Jamie Pitchforth, Head of Education Practice, EMEA at Juniper Networks

Jamie Pitchforth, Head of Education Practice, EMEA at Juniper Networks, looks into how institutions can enrich their on-campus experience for students and faculty with actionable insights and assured access, while respecting data privacy fundamentals.

Location services and the benefits of their deployment are not a new concept to higher education communities. In fact, higher education institutions already understand and recognise the value to be gained from location adoption. But in reality, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) battery beacon deployment at scale has never been practical and remains the barrier that blocks the technology benefits.

An All-in-One Solution: Virtual BLE (vBLE)

Today, location services can help universities deliver a wide variety of strategic objectives which all put student experience to the fore.

The competition among universities to attract and retain students has never been fiercer. Therefore, the drive to enhance the recruitment process and continued support for student retention is paramount to success. Integrating virtual BLE (vBLE) navigation and mobile engagement with the university’s mobile app to create interactive, guided tours that will enrich campus open days can ensure the university puts on its best face when attracting new students. And once students are enrolled, analysing footfall data to understand student engagement enables universities to identify those consistently participating in campus life, and those not.

Armed with this data around engagement and class attendance, universities can better monitor student health and wellbeing by identifying withdrawn behaviour potentially caused by social issues. From this, flagging trends and anomalies can help drive attendance improvements, student success and overall satisfaction, not to manage improved pastoral care.

Furthermore, universities can help drive student engagement by improving university-to-student communications in real-time through location and BLE technology. This will enable them to proactively engage with students, based on who they are, where they are and the time of day.

Limited but highly demanded study space can be a source of great frustration for students and staff alike. Universities can better manage study space by using BLE and footfall analytics to enable students and staff to effectively identify and book study spaces. This saves time, enhances the student experience and ensures efficient use of available space. This is especially relevant in the context of COVID-19 guidelines, where social distancing requirements may cause the availability of study space to be even more limited. The additional use of contact tracing, journey planning and congestion alerting can work alongside study space booking systems to create a safer, more secure environment to which students and staff can return.

Technology innovation is now virtualising this BLE network layer, opening the door to more engaging, experience-first services and an unsurpassed level of data insight and intelligence informing strategies and steering investments. Now is the time for institutions to invest in industry pioneers of virtualised BLE beacons – those that stand out from the crowd in enabling their customers to remove boundaries, embrace location at scale and reap the benefits that have been an empty promise for so long.

Steer Clear of Compliance Issues: The Data Privacy Challenge

The contract between a university and the student is a non-negotiable foundation that underpins every education and research partnership. Higher education institutions are no different than any other organisation when it comes to personal data and privacy legislation (i.e., the GDPR). Personal data protection is a fundamental citizens’ right. Yet, in a rapidly changing world where living with COVID-19 in our communities is now a fact of life, this begs the question as to whether the acceptability needle has shifted, with students and faculty alike needing an assured safe and secure campus to which to return.

Tracking student footfall with an ability to identify specific students will rightly raise some questions – and it is up to individuals’ personal choice to opt in or opt out, and to which every strategy should adhere. However, it is also important to note that embracing location services can create a safer campus environment and help to reduce the impact significantly if a student or member of staff tests positive.

When integrated into a university’s app, BLE location services can provide sub-1 meter location accuracy and the ability to harvest footfall analytics for contact tracing, journey mapping, congestion alerting and dwell times. These are all essential elements to protect and keep students and faculty safe.

It is recognised that COVID-19 alone may not support a business case as justification for campus-wide location services, but it should be positioned as one significant and advantageous benefit among many.

Institutions who embrace vBLE technology and adopt location services within their core network strategy will benefit from new analytics, gaining access to an unprecedented level of intelligence and insight to drive new services and better experiences, reduce operational overheads and create a safer environment. Collectively, these powerful benefits build a compelling case for universities to consider embracing and adopting network-enabled location technology in the near term in order to outrun their competition.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page