NUS survey shows a change in students’ drinking habits at university


What do you think of when you see a university student? Do you think they wake up bright and early to go to their 9am lectures or do they lay in bed with a banging headache, regretting the night before?

Many people will choose the latter.

If you are a university student, you may commonly be known as a ‘party animal’ who spends most of their time downing pints and very little time with your head in a text book.

Is this true or is it just a myth?

After conducting a survey involving 2,215 students, the National Union of Students found that 21% of students say they don’t drink.

However, 60% say it can be difficult not to drink too much and 38% of those say that alcohol helps them to relax and socialise.

Staffordshire universities Student’s Union believe that drinking is an option and students shouldn’t feel pressured to drink.

The university hosts weekly quiz nights as well as family events where whether a student wants to drink or not is entirely their choice.


Tash Crump, President of Staffordshire University’s Students Union

Tash Crump is the President of the Student’s union at Staffordshire University. She said: “Know your limits.

“When you first come to university as 18-year-olds you potentially have never gone out before or really done any excessive drinking. Build yourself up, don’t go out and binge drink. Find your limit.”

As more and more selfie-crazed millennial’s become prone to using social media to share their lives to the world, the pressure to fit in increases and for some of them it means drinking to ‘fit in’ with their peers.

Despite this, the NUS also discovered that students are going out less and studying more due to their own personal debts and the pressure to do well.

NUS Vice President (Welfare), Eva Crossan Jory said: “While many students are making active decisions about their drinking it is concerning that university life is still strongly associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

“The cost of living crisis facing students now also means after bills and food it may not be possible for students to spend on other things such as nights out or drinks.”

Keele University is accredited by the NUS’ Alcohol impact scheme. This is a programme that aims to create alcohol free spaces where fun and engaging activities can take place.

A survey conducted by Keele university found that 48% of students said they drink once a week or less, and 88% of them said you don’t need to drink alcohol on a night out to have a good time.

Ele Fisher, the Welfare and Internationalisation officer said: “The NUS alcohol impact scheme has allowed us to actively think about how we promote safe drinking at Keele University and has impacted students to think about their alcohol consumption on nights out, and whether they are drinking safely.”


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