Increased tuition fees have sobering effect on student boozing

Third year students are hitting the town more often than freshers, a survey by student money site Save the Student has revealed.

First year students in the UK are going on nights out approximately 1.23 days every week, while third years are venturing into town an average of 1.57 days per week.


According to the figures, first years are going on nights out less than third years because of the rise in tuition fees. Photo: Doug88888 (via Flickr)

The figures have been linked to the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees in 2012.

The University of Lincoln Students’ Union Vice-President for Welfare Andrew Twagira said: “In terms of third years going out more than first years now, that’s a surprising figure. To be fair, it could be the fact that it’s their last year and they’re trying to soak it all in and make the most of the university lifestyle.

“While in first year, you may be thinking that you have two more years left of doing it all.”

Student spending on alcohol is down to an average of just £19 a week across all year groups. Previous figures in a similar study last year by the NUS revealed that students spent about £28 a week on nights out.

Owen Burek, founder of Save the Student, said: “This news does not necessarily mean that students are drinking less, as it may be that the typical student is simply becoming more price sensitive to pennies spent at the bar.

“This shift is reflected with a growth in cheap drinks deals promoted at popular student bars and venues.”

Another factor that could have contributed to the stats is the almost ritualistic procedure of “pre-drinking” before nights out, where students buy cheap, bulk alcohol from supermarkets and drink at home before even venturing out to a bar or club.

Burek continued: “The cost of living and attending university has risen sharply in the past year, and it’s clear that students are responding to the pressures of having to save and budget.”

Students’ Union President Jennine Fox has a different theory though as to why first year students are going out a lot less this academic year: “I think first year students are going out less because of the amount of fees they have to pay.

“I also think the £9,000 fees have made people re-evaluate why they go to university and made them think that actually they want to put their education first and their employability ahead of having the life experiences associated with university.”

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