How proximity cards can be used to keep educational facilities safe and secure

clip_image002Colleges and universities present unique security challenges, and it can feel like trying to protect a small city at times with lots of different departments, each requiring different levels of security. Combine this with the need to keep unauthorised individuals out, whilst at the same time letting in upwards of 30,000 people to the universities facilities, and you can quickly find yourself in a logistical nightmare.

Clearly, it’s not possible to manually check each individual entrant, as this would not only be time consuming but also extremely costly. At the same time you can’t just give anyone access to facilities filled with expensive equipment and sensitive information. This is a key reason why more and more universities are starting to take advantage of the opportunities offered through proximity cards to keep educational environments safe and secure.

Proximity smart cards are used in the same respect as contact smart cards. Information from the card is systematically compared against a controlled list in order to identify whether or not access should be granted. The cards offer the added convenience and speed of simply swiping the card as you walk through rather than having to insert the card into a reader. Applications for this type of access control have been growing; electronic passports, vending, parking tolls and increasingly student identification are all common applications for proximity cards.

Installing proximity cards will not only take pressure off the logistical side of running colleges and universities, but also prove to be a great source of student satisfaction, providing a heightened feeling of safety whilst also offering a much higher level of convenience for students wanting to access the facilities than more traditional methods of security. In the case of proximity cards, access security has no invasive or threatening aspects, and it can even be aesthetically pleasing. What could be simpler than walking up to a door and walking in, just as if it was unlocked?

The big advantage of proximity cards lies in its simplicity. There are no moving parts, no user wear and no slots to maintain. The reader can be concealed inside walls or special enclosures or mounted alongside turnstiles. Proximity cards are much less prone to physical damage or loss, saving you money in reduced card replacement cost, and again, much more convenience for the end user.

At Gateway Automation Ltd, we have looked at how to further strengthen our range of high quality, low cost security access solutions, and proximity cards are just one of the ways in which access can be controlled. For more information about our different access control solutions, please visit

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