Aalborg University chooses G4S to provide Europe’s largest access control system

With 4,500 card readers across 55 university buildings, Aalborg University in Denmark is G4S’s biggest integrated access control implementation in Europe. 

What started out as a simple security contract, providing a handful of officers at two university buildings 25 years ago, has grown into G4S’s biggest integrated access control implementation in Europe. 

Aalborg University founded in 1974 is Denmark’s fourth largest higher education institution and is organised across three campus cities; Aalborg, Copenhagen and Esbjerg. It provides Bachelors and Masters degree programmes in a range of subject areas including engineering natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and health sciences. 

With 4,500 card readers on different doors to classrooms, laboratories, offices and libraries, more than 100 external cameras and intrusion alarms, the G4S solution at Aalborg University is a large-scale, integrated access control, alarm and video-monitoring system. All of the readers are linked to G4S’s access control management software, covering 55 buildings with 20,000 access card users every year. And the university continues to add more buildings. 

“It’s a big operation and we have an excellent relationship of trust with our customer built over many years,” said Jens Ryberg, Key Account Manager for G4S in Denmark. “Our contract started from fairly humble beginnings, where we provided a small number of security officers to two or so buildings and we built the contract from there adding firstly burglar alarms and later access control as the university’s requirements evolved.” 

Large-scale access control

As it has increased in size – in terms of the number of students and premises – security has become increasingly complex and challenging. The university team wanted an intelligent system which automated manual processes and allowed thousands of students to be enrolled every semester and given the correct security passes. The University manages the creation of new access cards and it stores the protected data on its own servers. 

Each access card is programmed with the relevant levels of access for each individual, student or university employee. 

“University staff, who may have previously carried 30 separate keys for different buildings and restricted zones, now only need one card for all their specific access requirements. This automation is what the university wanted,” said Jens. 

The installed system uses intrusion alarms, video monitoring systems and access software across all its buildings. Managed from a central G4S control facility in Aarhus, the technology monitors all video footage and alarm activations and security professionals in the control room are able to react quickly when issues arise. 

Central monitoring

Technology installed by G4S also has environmental benefits, with sensors fitted to hundreds of smart windows. The system receives signals from the windows to keep different buildings comfortable and energy efficient, opening and closing windows as required. 

G4S provides patrolling security professionals, who ensure the buildings are secure, around the clock but particularly at night when the campuses are largely empty, between 4pm and 8am. Security across the four campuses is discreet and all are open plan with no perimeter fencing. Each security professional carries a tablet device that will alert them, should an alarm be sounded, allowing a prompt response at the correct location. 

During the pandemic, the team has made some changes to increase the level of security, with additional patrolling officers in different locations and times. Enhancements have also been made to the access control to ensure the safety of students and employees alike. 

“The security we provide is advanced, professional and most importantly reliable, allowing the educational and social aspects of university life to continue smoothly,” said Jens. “We are here to manage the risks and enhance value for the university. We bring organised safety and security to the campuses, which is unobtrusive and reassuring.

“G4S has been our long-standing partner in security and Aalborg University sees G4S as a very professional partner with extensive knowledge in security,” said Jens Gregersen of Aalborg University Campus Services. “G4S has been involved in solving complex challenges in the university’s current level of security. Aalborg University attaches great importance to trust and permanent staff and G4S staff have shown professionalism and provided good solutions for the university.”

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