Students ‘want to shun Freshers’ Week drinking to study’, headteachers say

ITV News, 04.10.16 many new university students would rather get started on their studies than take part in the traditional Freshers' Week, private school headteachers have said speaking at their 2016 Annual Conference. HMC General Secretary, Dr William Richardson is quoted.

Some consider Freshers' Week - which often involves drinking games, initiations and pub crawls - an isolating and expensive experience.

Freshers' Week which began yesterday, marking the official start of the new academic year across many UK universities.

William Richardson, general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), said anecdotal evidence showed many students were anxious to begin studying rather than partying, particularly as they faced rising tuition fees which could leave them with debts running into tens of thousands of pounds.

He said: "They (students) say they want to start studies in the first week - I think we've heard that everywhere.

"There is concern about Freshers' Week being culturally very clunky. So, the teetotal, faith-based female student, who wants to enjoy Freshers' Week at a venue where you can't say no to drinking - that's definitely an issue."

Many undergraduates pay fees of up to £9,000 a year.

A recent study of 2,000 students from independent schools shows 27% are most concerned about workload, while one in four are most worried about money.

NUS research published in February hinted at changes to student life, with 87% of respondents saying coffee shops were the most used facility, ahead of the union shop (81%), clubs and societies (78%), and bars (74%).

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