Higher Education Smart

Campus Association (HESCA)

HESCA’s aim is to provide Higher Education establishments with a platform for debate on smart card technology issues relevant to their business objectives.

HESCA endeavours to provide an opportunity to explore the technology in detail; the standards, software, hardware, applications and integration, aiming to develop a mechanism by which a series of cost-effective solutions is available to its members.

This Forum meets quarterly, including an annual two-day Conference & Exhibition.  The main focus is the on-campus functions supported by smart campus cards and, in the near future, by smartphones.  There are some 20 candidate functions, including access control, attendance monitoring, cashless catering & vending, library activities, campus payments, society memberships, examinee validation and identity assurance.  Meetings are chaired by an HEI representative, and are attended by smart campus service providers, HEIs, FEIs and specialist consultants.

2023 Meeting Dates/Venues

  • 18th & 19th March, HESCA24, Loughborough University (see below)
  • 18th June, London
  • 1st October (Webinar)
  • 26th November, London

Smartex’s annual two-day Conference & Exhibition for HESCA

Smart technology for a smarter campus

18th & 19th March 2024

Holywell Park Conference Centre, Holywell Way, Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, Loughborough LE11 3GR

Kindly supported by:



HESCA (the Higher Education Smart Campus Association) has pleasure in inviting you and/or a colleague to attend its annual conference and exhibition – HESCA24 – taking place on 18th & 19th March 2024 at Loughborough University.

HESCA24 is the latest in a series of similar successful events that Smartex has run over the past 10 years in locations such as Southampton, Nottingham, Great Missenden, Glasgow, Cardiff, Cambridge, Bristol, Brighton and Warwick.

Attendance at HESCA24 is free-of-charge to invited non-member HEIs and FEIs and to all HESCA members (with attendance on both days counting as one day’s membership entitlement).  Other non-members may attend at a cost of £200 + VAT per day per delegate.

We recognise that HEIs and FEIs are feeling the financial pinch, and that any investments in smart campus technology must be offset by cost savings or increases in revenue.  Accordingly, we have built this into the fabric of our planned topics for HESCA24.


The following main themes and topics are planned:

  • Keynote Session: Loughborough University
  • The future for on-campus payments
  • Accommodating the new catering environments
  • Developing effective student retention strategies
  • Hybrid/agile/hot desk methods of working
  • The new access control topography
    • The latest technology
    • Biometric access control
  • Controlling access for higher education
  • Identity considerations: authentication and authorisation
  • The migration from smart campus cards to smartphones
  • Smarter use of smartphones on campus
  • Integrating biometrics within migration to mobile
  • Streamlining student enrolment/registration
  • Enhancing links to local public transport
  • Creating a greener and more efficient smart campus
  • How smart technology is vital for tomorrow’s campus
  • Embracing smart technology for a sustainable smart campus
  • AI and the smart campus
  • Predictive analytics in student engagement
  • Can smarter IT ever pass the business-case test?
  • What students need from tomorrow’s campus.

As always, leading suppliers of smart campus solutions will be on hand throughout the event to demonstrate their system and product offerings, and you will have ample opportunities to network with HEI/FEIs about their experiences of developing a smart campus.

Drinks reception on 18th March

Our traditional drinks reception will be held in the late afternoon of 18th March in the event venue, to provide further opportunities for delegates, speakers and exhibitors to meet and share experiences and requirements.

Evening dinner on 18th March

The popular event dinner is taking place at 7.30pm on the evening of 18th March (venue t.b.c.).  Delegates, speakers and exhibitors may reserve places with us for this dinner at their own cost (£50 + VAT).

What’s included in the deal?

Included within these arrangements will be:

  • Participation at all sessions on both days
  • Access to all available presentation material
  • Refreshments on arrival and throughout both days, including two buffet luncheons and the drinks reception on the evening of 18th March

Overnight accommodation

If you wish to book overnight accommodation during the event (for either/both nights of 17th and 18th March), we have reserved a limited number of rooms at the following venues:

  • Burleigh Court Hotel (4*) – £153.25 per room, per night for sole occupancy (8-minute walk to event venue)
  • The Link Hotel (3*) – £106.95 per room, per night for sole occupancy (8-minute walk to event venue)
  • The Elite Athlete Centre (4*) – £120.50 per room, per night for sole occupancy (20-minute walk to event venue)

To book, please choose your preferred venue and call 01509 633033, quoting HESCA24 to secure our rates.

How to book to attend HESCA24

To book your place at HESCA24, please complete the Online Booking Form.

If you have any questions relating to HESCA24 attendance, please contact Annabel Cartwright at annabel@smartex.com or on +44 (0)7785 254405.