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UniSmart Survey Results Show UK Students More Focussed On Studying Than Drinking

London, United Kingdom.  Results from a survey of UK first year students about to start university, indicate that these undergraduate students are more focussed on studying and passing exams than on drinking and partying.  The survey, undertaken by UniSmart during the year 2014-2015, casts light on the issues that most concern ‘fresh’ students.

First year students were invited by UniSmart to respond to questions about their use of alcohol and drugs, their means of funding their studies and the amount of time they spend trawling the internet along with other topics.  Students at a range of UK universities were asked to complete the survey at the end of the UniSmart presentation.

The live and interactive UniSmart presentation has been developed for first year students as a means of easing the transition from home and school, to university by giving students a raw and informative overview of the issues they are likely to encounter as they start university. To date more than 500,000 students in the UK, Australasia, and the USA have seen the presentation that cover topics such as: 

  • Culture shock 
  • Living with diversity 
  • Coping with isolation and shyness 
  • Making friends 
  • Sex, drugs, alcohol, and rock and roll 
  • Staying safe 
  • Studying smart. 

Following on the 60 minute presentation, students in the audience are asked to comment on the main issues facing them at university, their living situations, their social habits, their career and subject choices and their use of the internet.  
Student Sample
The results of the UniSmart survey are based on a total of 1,817 survey forms which were analysed from the data collected at Manchester, Wolverhampton, St Andrews and Sunderland Universities. This is the fourth time students have been asked to respond to questions about their experiences, expectations and fears as they embark on their university careers.  Thirty eight percent (38%) male and sixty two percent (62 %) female students were included in the sample.
(Data has a maximum margin of error of +/-2.1%).
Student Matters
For students in the UK, passing exams and studying continue to feature as their main concerns. Other issues most commonly raised include:

  • concerns about money while studying
  • making new friends,
  • having support
  • course choices. 

These results are similar to the concerns of students surveyed in 2012 and 2013.

International versus Domestic Responses
International students had a greater concern about moving away from family and settling into a new culture than the rest of the sub groups identified. They also differed from the UK national students in the following areas:  

  • Money while studying was less of a concern for international students, students living in university residence, and males than the other sub groups. 
  • Passing exams was the main concern for all sub groups. 

Risk Factors

An important aim of the UniSmart presentation is to prepare students as they embark on a new period in their lives where they will encounter a range of new situations and potential risks associated with living independently and starting university study. This includes the use of alcohol, smoking, and recreational drugs.  When asked about these behaviours, results from the survey show that: 

  • Just under a third of students (30%) never consumed alcohol 
  • Of those who drank alcohol, over seventy percent (70%) only consumed alcohol occasionally or on weekends 
  • Eighteen percent (18%) consumed alcohol more than three times a week or daily 
  • Thirty six percent (36%) smoked cigarettes 
  • Seventy five percent (75%) had not tried marijuana.  Of those who had tried it: 
  • Fourteen percent (14%) had tried it once 
  • Nine percent (9%)  used it monthly or less often 
  • One percent ( 1%) were using marijuana daily 

The majority (91%) of the students had not tried other drugs. This figure has slightly increased since 2013, where eighty five percent (85%) of students had not tried other drugs

Internet Usage

Students using the internet were asked to estimate how many hours they spent online each week. On average, UK 2014 students going online spent 36.8 hours on the internet per week. The largest amount of their time was spent studying (10.8 hours), followed by time spent on social networking sites (9.7 hours).

UniSmart Survey 2015

Once again, UniSmart will be presented to thousands of UK students this summer when they start their studies.  At the end of each presentation, students will be invited to complete survey forms.  Each year the survey questions are revised to reflect trends and areas of concern.  Questions regarding sexuality and attitudes to sex before marriage will be included in the 2015 survey.  Results will be collated and ready for distribution in 2016. 

To access the full report of the 2014 UniSmart UK Survey, visit:

Words: 753

For further information on the press release, please contact Market Advantage Directors

Bill Graham

M: 07949 114 871    

Noreen Cesareo
M: 07787555651


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