Toronto’s York University has become the latest post-secondary education institution to embrace digital ID, allowing students to store a virtual version of their “YU-card” student identity card on their smartphone. The mobile ID can be used to gain access to libraries and recreational facilities across the school’s three campuses, and can be linked to a meal plan.
Administrators expect the card to cut more than 12,000 hours from queue times per academic year, and so far more than 65 percent of incoming students have embraced the solution.
The adoption of mobile student IDs represents a broader trend in higher education towards “smart campuses,” where technology is leveraged to streamline operations and enhance student life.
In the United States, major institutions like Duke University, the University of Alabama, and Johns Hopkins University were among the early adopters of mobile student IDs. These universities partnered with technology providers to integrate digital IDs into systems that students use every day on their smartphones. For instance, with the collaboration between Apple and Blackboard, students at these universities can use their iPhones and Apple Watches to access facilities, pay for meals, and more.
The trend gained momentum as the technology proved to be not just a novelty but a utility that improved campus experiences. It dovetailed with heightened expectations for contactless transactions, which became particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis acted as a catalyst for many institutions to accelerate their adoption of contactless solutions, including mobile IDs.
The mobile student ID system is not limited to North America. Globally, universities have been following suit, albeit at different paces. In Europe, Asia, and Australia, institutions have also begun exploring and implementing these systems, driven by an emphasis on smart campus initiatives.
According to University Affairs, mobile student IDs first came to Canada in 2021, when they were deployed at the University of New Brunswick.
Source: University Affairs
November 7, 2023 – by the Mobile ID World Editorial Team