REYKJAVIK University
is Iceland’s largest private university and its curriculum focuses on research,
excellence in teaching, entrepreneurship, technology development and co-operation
with the active business community. RU has been happily using HID proximity
technology to secure its buildings for many years.

About three years
ago the university decided to build a larger, more modern and first-rate
facility to accommodate all of the university’s five degree courses in the
future. Designing this new facility for RU was not an overnight task. Many
hours of planning and research were put in to ensure the best possible building
for RU.

The university’s
technical manager Ellert Igni Hararson spent almost a year researching
applications and products that might be suitable for RU and in the course of
his research, he met with HID Global at their EMEA offices in Haverhill, UK.

To make the new
building a success, RU worked closely with Securitas Iceland that, together
with the University’s building consultant Eirikur K. Torbjornsson, designed a
solution to fit the university’s vision. This vision was to have an almost
key-free building, not only to increase the convenience and security for
students and staff but also to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Whatever solution
was to be chosen today needed to also be able to grow and fulfill RU’s future
requirements of a high-tech system and building. The solution also had to offer
a cost-effective and convenient migration solution to enable students to use
their existing cards in the new building.

“Our vision is to
have a true multi-application smart card that in the future can be enabled for
cashless vending, canteen, on-demand printing, photo ID, library, use of
lockers and maybe even more,” explains Hararson.

“We are also
working with the wider community to extend the use of student cards for public
services, such as for buses, the museum and swimming pools. We really would
like to see the use of smart cards adopted even beyond the boundaries of the
university and make the advantages of multi-application ID cards available to
everyone.

“We are trying
not only to provide a secure and high-tech facility for our students and staff
but to also be green and conscious of our environment around us. Such
integrated solutions helps us to learn about how rooms and areas within the
university are used, allowing us to become ever more intelligent and efficient,”
says Hararson.

“Our vision is to
have a true multi-application smart card that in the future can be enabled for
cashless vending, canteen, on-demand printing, photo ID, library, use of
lockers and maybe even more,”

Ellert Igni
Hararson, RU technical manager

 

Meanwhile, Torbjornsson
says that by planning for a true multi-application future from the start with
this project, RU was able to ensure a quick return on investment for the
university.Content with the existing HID PROX solution and after much research,
the university decided to transition to HID iCLASS, using both multi-technology
cards and readers. iCLASS was considered a cost-effective and convenient choice
as it made migration to smart cards simple.

“From the outset
it was important for us that students who were issued access cards for the old
building would be able to use their cards and gain access also in the new
building,” Hararson explains.

The university
charges students a nominal fee for their cards, which, according to Hararson,
has helped to reduce card loss to almost zero, as students associate value to
their cards instantly.

RU’s reasons for
sticking with HID included its positive experience and high satisfaction with
quality of HID products and Prox technology over many years, as well as the
need for a reliable and future-proof solution that provides secure physical
access for students, faculty and staff 24/7.

Today, HID
Global’s multi-technology smart cards provide about 4000 students access to all
the university buildings and by students uploading a photograph to the
university’s intranet, their card will be issued to them on their very first
day of school with all their details and photo already printed on it.

“We use a FARGO
HDP5000, which is handled by our receptionists who are able to deliver cards to
new students even during the busy periods at the beginning of term,” explains Hararson.

The cards are
used throughout the old and the new buildings to gain access to classrooms, lab
rooms and study areas 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. The new campus is not
yet complete and the current facility is still being extended by another 7000
square metres, which is planned for completion in August 2010.

“Iceland itself
is a very-forward thinking country and most of our local and international
students have been in touch with smart cards and access control cards before,
therefore the adoptation of smart cards was very quick and we have received
very good feedback from our students and staff so far,” says Torbjornsson.

Hararson and Torbjornsson
conclude that they are excited about the possible future use and applications
of their smart cards, hoping that one day in the not so distant future, the
university cards can be used on the local bus, the public library and even at
the theatre. The solution now installed at the university extends the boundaries
of access control and has also seamlessly integrated lighting, electrics and
room allocation control.

“RU has the
determination to think big, to always improve the university’s ability, and to
decisively carry out our plans. We are all responsible for our continued
success. The future of RU is in our hands,” says Hararson.

“With HID Global
solutions, we are set to make our ambitous vision for the future a successful
reality today and build on it for the future”.

Fact file:

Products
installed at Reykjavik University:

• HID composite
dual-technology iCLASS/Prox cards

• FARGO HDP5000

• HID MultiCLASS
readers (RP15, RP40 and RPK40)

“Most of our
local and international students have been in touch with smart cards and access
control cards before, therefore the adoptation of smart cards was very quick
and we have received very good feedback from our students and staff so far”

Eirikur K.
Torbjornsson, RU building consultant