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Bars and pubs

The bar, or more probably, the many bars are usually the gravitational centres of the university — which explains why so many people are lying on the floor. (A physics gag — alright, forget it.)

Contrary to popular belief, beer in student bars is not subsidised. However, it is cheap. Sometimes it’s as little as a £1.40 a pint — even cheaper if there’s a promo. Other drinks are up to a third cheaper than local pubs too.

‘How do they manage it?’ we hear you gasp thirstily. The answer lies in the fact that, after the country’s largest pub and hotel chain, students collectively are the UK’s second largest consumers of beer. The fact that they buy collectively means they get competitive prices and, because most student bars are run by the students’ unions, they don’t keep the prices high just to rack up the profits. Pretty much the same applies to anything you buy from the SU — from pencils to Polos — although the savings are rarely as big as on booze.

Some bars are better than others and have longer opening hours. Many host ents ranging from gigs to karaoke. In style they vary from nightmare airport lounges to crypt-like cellars, from cool palaces of kitsch to huge venue-only thirst quenchers. Some SUs even own their own pubs.

Of course, if you don’t live near the university, the bars may be out of reach. In which case, you’re going to be reliant on local fare — whatever that may be. This is when town/gown relations really come to a head — when students try to find a cheap and friendly watering hole.

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