Brendan Musgrove, Managing Director at Cordant Security, writes for Infologue.com about security within higher education facilities. Brendan writes: “As the summer holidays draw to a close we have reached that time of year once again where students from up and down the country prepare to return to university to continue with their studies. This year they will also be joined by more than 470,000 freshers, who will be leaving home for the first time in order to embark of three or more years of higher education.
“However, whilst many of these students will leave university with a degree or other relevant qualification, they will also finish with record levels of debt. Various newspapers have recently reported that a number of top universities plan to charge students record-breaking tuition fees of £9,250 from next year. This is a far cry from when people of my age went to university for free, prior to the introduction of tuition fees in September 1998.
“As the managing director of a security firm that works in partnership with several universities, I believe the constant rise of tuition fees has changed the dynamic of how service providers should operate on behalf of educational establishments. Previously, upon signing a contract to work within a campus, you’d consider that the agreement was solely between the university and the third party supplier. However, as students are now paying significant fees, I believe they too must now be considered clients.
“Therefore, at Cordant Security we have altered our approach when fulfilling contracts at universities to become far more customer centric. It is no longer enough for manned guards to just keep a close eye on students when they are leaving the union and to guarantee that no property belonging to the university is damaged or vandalised.
“Following this shift, it is now fundamental to go the extra mile and to ensure that you are providing the students with a safe, secure and enjoyable environment to live and study in. Of course, an important element of this will continue to be the identification of trespassers or vandals, or deterring behaviour that could be considered anti-social, but there will be a far greater emphasis on customer service. Our workforce has been trained and encouraged to engage with students looking for help or assistance, whilst also acting as a customer information and advisory point where appropriate.
“It is this approach that has led us to securing a number of contracts with prestigious educational establishments, such as London Business School, where we provide a team of 18 guards, delivering 24/7 a service, at its main site in Regent’s Park.
“As the new term gets underway, it won’t just be the students who will be focused on achieving top grades, as our team of dedicated professionals working across multiple universities commit to providing a first-class service”.