Home Office launches crackdown on student pub crawls

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags University Alcoholism

The Home Office and NUS want to tackle the drinking culture among students
The Home Office and NUS want to tackle the drinking culture among students
Universities will have to prove they are discouraging their students from taking part in pub crawls, under a pilot scheme launched today.

The Home Office and the National Union of Students is working with eight universities across the country on the accreditation scheme in a bid to “create a social norm of responsible alcohol consumption by students”.

The scheme will encourage the bodies to withdraw alcohol from their student unions or at least ensure soft drinks cost less than alcoholic ones. They will also be expected to take action to “tackle or redress student participation in commercial pub crawls and/or social media drinking games” and prevent “alcohol-related initiation ceremonies”. Alcohol advertising will be restricted around participating campuses and there will be sanctions for students who repeatedly cause problems through drinking. The accreditation criteria advises universities to work with licensed premises in their area to ensure students are drinking responsibly.

The NUS Alcohol Impact initiative, backed by a £90,000 Home Office grant, will involve Swansea University; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Brighton; Royal Holloway, University of London; Loughborough University; University of Nottingham;  Liverpool John Moores University; and University of Central Lancashire.

Binge drinking

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “Binge drinking at universities is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

"Some students find themselves encouraged to participate in alcohol fuelled activities which can damage health and in some cases spill over into disorder and anti-social behaviour.”

NUS Vice-President (Welfare) Colum McGuire said: “We hope that the work of the project will allow us to create a social norm of responsible consumption by students at the pilot institutions, changing attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol, leading to safer and more productive places to study and live.

“The project is an extremely positive one that has the welfare of students at its core, with a range of benefits from reducing crime and disorder, to improving student health and academic outcomes, and enhancing partnerships within local communities.

“We will also aim to encourage responsible retailing and the provision of a broader range of activities as well as effective support services on campus, and by doing so make universities more welcoming for those who do not drink.”


Professor Julian Crampton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “Students work extremely hard to gain their qualifications and will always want time out to relax and to enjoy themselves.

“We and other universities work closely with students to ensure they are fully informed about issues surrounding excessive drinking and we offer them advice and support.”

NUS Alcohol Impact draft criteria

Alcohol Impact criteria.xlsx 0.02 MB

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