Universities use innovative digital tech for student safety

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Greater Manchester’s three universities are collaborating on a technology-led safety system to protect students and staff.

The SafeZone technology has been made by CriticalArc and should enable security teams at all the universities to provide faster response and assistance.

While The University of Manchester, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University, have each deployed the software individually, the Manchester SafeZone Alliance means security staff from each campus will provide reciprocal support to each other’s staff and students.

“Student and staff wellbeing is always the top priority for all three universities and we are pleased to put in place a technology solution that furthers this shared aim. Manchester and Salford have a long-standing reputation for being inclusive and welcoming destinations for students from around the world.” said Dr Sam Grogan, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience at University of Salford on behalf of the universities associated with the Manchester SafeZone Alliance group.

“This pioneering cross-city initiative serves to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our university community.”

In the event of an emergency, people can use the SafeZone app and get connected to the appropriate safety and security team, or first responder.

The Alliance uses the example of a student walking home alone late at night through the Manchester Metropolitan University campus, "who would have the peace of mind that dedicated university first responder teams are instantly accessible at the tap of a button via SafeZone, confirming who needs assistance, their precise location, and the type of incident."

Only when an individual calls for help, is their identity and location shared with the university’s security team.

“We are delighted to be working with the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford on this ground-breaking project to give added reassurance for thousands of students and staff,” added Darren Chalmers-Stevens, Managing Director of CriticalArc.

“The SafeZone Alliance sets these Greater Manchester universities apart and demonstrates their commitment to the wellbeing of students and staff, beyond traditional, individual campus boundaries.  We believe this alliance will prove to be a catalyst for game-changing cooperation between universities around the world.”

Enjoyed this? Get our latest updates in your inbox every day

Subscribe to Prolific North’s morning newsletter to keep up with all the most important things going on in your sector.