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Students shun beer for books, NUS says

THE stereotype of “sticky bars filled with beer-swilling students” could be going out of fashion, according to the National Union of Students (NUS).

The number of students drinking in student bars has fallen over the past decade by between 5-10 per cent, the NUS said.

A Kingston University spokesperson said: “During the past few years, the student bars have seen a general decrease in usage. We have noticed that many students are coming to the bars to take part in non-drink-related activities. Quiz Night, for example, is very popular at all the bars.”

The survey of 1,000 undergraduates across the country found that the most useful services for students were the clubs and societies (60 per cent), advice and support (50 per cent) and coffee shop/ café facilities (43 per cent), with only 37 per cent identifying bars as the most useful service.

Richard Brooks, NUS vice president for union development, said: “Our research shows more students are flocking to their unions for shops, cafés and other non-alcoholic spaces than ever before.

“Student unions have evolved to keep pace with the changing needs of students, with many now setting up ‘social enterprises’ and focusing on the sale of ethical produce rather than cheap alcohol.”

The survey also found that sales of draught and packaged beer has declined year on year over the past three years while hot drink sales continue to rise with an increase of 11 per cent in the past year alone.

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