Alcohol and students: Where we stand in 2011

We explore the results of the Student Drinking Survey 2011, and index our related articles - everything about student drinking can be found here.

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A little while ago we conducted our very own Student Drinking Survey, asking you, the students, to reveal all about your drinking habits. We asked a massive range of questions about how much alcohol you consume during the week, your average expenditure on booze, what embarrassing texts you’ve sent whilst under the influence and why you choose to drink alcohol in the first place - perhaps you don’t even like the stuff. Whatever you're interest or angle, we've got student drinking in 2011 fully covered;

University Drinking League - who drinks the most?

The Student Drinking Survey 2011 - The Results

Best drunken texts from users

Why do students try to force alcohol on me?

University initiation ceremonies: An investigation

Why on earth do we drink?

Top ten most shocking initiation ceremony stories

2,197 of you completed our online Student Drinking Survey 2011, 4% of whom said they do not drink alcohol at all. 47% of those saying so said that they alcohol didn’t play such a big part in uni culture. 61% of all respondents said they regularly drink alcohol, whilst 35% admitted to doing so occasionally.

Taking inspiration from the University Sex League, we’ve created our very own university drinking table. No, not a table full of booze, but a list of all the universities that appeared in our survey results, compiled in order of how many units the average student drinks per week. Interestingly enough, three of the universities that came out as drinking the most units in that time, feature in the top five most sexually active universities. Leeds Metropolitan University (who were fourth in the sex league, with an average of 9.4 sexual partners per student) came out on top with an average of 26.7 units a week. Could there be a correlation? Click here for a full rundown of the university drinking league and here to remind yourself of the results of the Student Sex Survey.

Of all the questionnaire's participants, 25% admitted to having had a one-night stand under the influence of alcohol and 22% of students said that they have had a sexual encounter after drinking alcohol that they later regretted. Other worries include health, with 47% admitting to being concerned about the long-term effects of drinking on their body.

Results from the survey suggest that University of Salford has fewer big drinkers, coming out with an average of 5.9 units a week attributed to students studying in the area.

So why do we drink alcohol? Taste proves to be an important factor, with 62% of participants agreeing that this was the top reason and 67% agreeing that Vodka is the drink of choice. A greater number of students taking part in the survey however, agree that the number one reason to drink is to have fun on a night out. 54% said they have a drink to relax, while 38% admit to drinking alcohol because it makes them more confident. Of course, there’s always those society initiation ceremonies, which 22% of students said generally involves drinking alcohol.

What’s more, alcohol is occasionally seen as a way of improving social life at university. 57% state that drinking helps you make friends at university, with one fifth of participants going as far as to say that they would not be able to survive a term at uni without drinking some form of alcohol.

When asked which celebrity you would most like to go out for a drink with, Stephen Fry came top of the list, with many opting for an evening of intellectual chat. What a civilised bunch. The QI host was closely followed by eloquent comedian and rather-large-haired man, Russell Brand. Of course, Charlie Sheen had to make an appearance and the one-time Two and a Half Men star swooped in at third place as the top American celeb students would like to clink glasses with. Johnny Depp, Fearne Cotton and Rude Boy singer Rihanna also made the top ten list.

But drinking isn’t everything. Facebook and mobile phones are also very important. How else would people be able to send those cringe-worthy messages after a few too many? 32% of students who drink revealed that they would rather give up Facebook than alcohol whilst only 7% said that they could give up their mobile phones rather than the hard stuff.

We interviewed 2,197 university students in the UK between 30th September and 20th October 2011 and the survey was carried out online.