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1/3 students don't drink in order to save money, says survey

13th March 2014

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A survey of 2,000 students has found that more than a third are sacrificing boozy nights out in order to save cash.

33% of those questioned across 140 UK universities as part of the Sodexo lifestyle survey have cut out alcohol completely, as rising tuition fees and increased cost of living means students are more concerned than ever about their finances.

When the survey was carried out in 2010, the number of students forgoing booze completely was 26%. Now, 40% say they drink only once a week.

The survey also found that 76% spend £20 per week or less on socialising, up from 61% in 2012. Half of these students are saving their cash by staying at home and seeing friends rather than going out.   

The survey suggests that “added pressures have contributed to the observed trend over the past six years of students focusing more firmly than ever on their studies, rather than enjoying active social lives.”

10% are still managing to spend more than five hours socialising every day, though – but this is down from 33% in 2006.

A big source of stress for students is balancing academic, social and work commitments, with 69% identifying this as a major issue – up from 41% in 2004.

It looks like students are working harder than previously too – 18% are spending between six and eight hours per day studying (up from 9% two years ago) whilst the majority (74%) dedicate between two and five hours every day to lectures, seminars and the lab. 72% are also squeezing in two to five hours per day of private study time.

Maybe unsurprisingly, students are worried – 61% say their workload is a cause for concern (in 2004 it was 30%) and 84% are worried that they won’t get the degree classification they’re striving for.

In terms of part time jobs, 21% are spending some time each day being paid to work – although overall students are working less than in the past: 36% currently work 11-20 hours per week - down from 55% in 2004.

Peter Taylor, Strategic Development Director at Sodexo, says:“With greater challenges facing the students of tomorrow, universities need to be aware that living as a student, for three or more years, is a bigger decision to undertake than it was in the past.

“Not only must universities work harder to attract students, they must also accommodate dramatic changes in lifestyle and provide the best environment possible, to prepare students for the challenges they may face after they graduate.”

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