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Big brother on campus? Smart systems track students

Image: Best-Backgrounds, via Shutterstock

Students can be closely monitored as they move through buildings on the University of Northampton’s £330-million smart campus, its vice-chancellor has said.

Nick Petford told delegates at the Data Matters conference in London on 16 January that the university knows where students are inside campus buildings at its new Waterside campus—which he described as “a campus that pretty much knows what you’re doing 24/7”. The system uses data from students’ security access cards.

He said the system could be used to see “exactly where international students are to satisfy [UK Visas and Immigration] regulations”. Representatives from UKVI have powers to carry out unannounced campus visits and can revoke a university’s sponsorship licences if attendance requirements are not met.

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