Intelli-TRIP offers students a smartphone app that assesses the dangers involved in trips, along with a safety briefing, and panic and check-in buttons, so they can request help and universities are assured the student is safe.
“We firmly believe that students should only very rarely be stopped from travelling on account of risk”
“HEIs generally have been grappling with the challenge of safely managing many thousands of overseas trips each year,” ILS’ managing director George Shaw said.
“With limited budgets, a decentralised structure and a rich array of risk appetites across each institution, our risk advisory team recognised the need for a fresh new approach.”
ILS is marketing the product initially to European and US universities, but it is aimed at any student travelling anywhere, Shaw told The PIE News.
“Intelli-TRIP enables universities to measure the risk involved in every trip objectively, removing the subjectivity of individual perception of risk, and to communicate the actual risk to the traveller so that they, and their supervisors, can mitigate it as best they can,” he said.
ILS stresses the importance of ‘risk mitigation’, rather than advocating for ‘risk avoidance’, Shaw noted.
“Duty of Care demands the ‘reasonable management of foreseeable risk'”, Shaw highlighted, adding that courts would “come down very hard” on universities if they appear to have failed in their duty of care obligations.
Universities will be able to see if a student or staff member plans “risky or contentious” overseas activity so that a fuller safety plan can be developed, and via an instant message portal they will be able to communicate with all travellers immediately.
“We firmly believe that students should only very rarely be stopped from travelling on account of risk,” he said.
“Risk should be examined in greater detail, and mitigated more cleverly, so that students can complete their studies and deliver cutting edge research wherever the subject matter takes them. This is Academic Freedom and it needs to be retained in order for universities to maintain their standing and deliver on their mandates.”
According to John O’Sullivan, UK managing director of travel management company, Key Travel, there has been a significant focus on development of risk management programs across UK universities over the last two days.
“Tailored, effective and easy to complete pre-trip assessments are an important first step in travel risk management and I believe the team at ILS are offering the simplicity that’s missing in many institutions’ programmes,” he said.
Key Travel has partnered with ILS since early 2018.