One in five university students say they purposely get drunk about once a week, with 2% saying they drink on most days, figures show.
The data from the National Union of Students (NUS) also reveals that the 60% of students who say it can be difficult not to drink too much – 38% overall – say it is because alcohol helps them to relax or socialise.
Conducted by YouGov the survey of 2,215 students in higher education found 23% drink two to three days a week.
However, 21% also said they do not drink – they either never have, or have stopped drinking.
Despite this, more than three quarters (76%) of those questioned there is an expectation for students to drink to get drunk, and 79% agree that drinking and getting drunk is part of university culture.
While 10% of respondents said they were aware of responsible or safe drinking campaigns at their university, only 1% had been part of these activities.
NUS vice president Eva Crossan Jory said: “It is clear that students’ drinking habits have changed, with a comparative section of the student population not drinking at all.
“While many students are making active decisions about their drinking it is concerning that university life is still strongly associated with excessive alcohol consumption.”
She added: “Unsurprisingly, only 1% of students have been part of safe or responsible drinking campaigns at their university.
“We would encourage institutions and students’ unions to get involved with the Alcohol Impact project to reduce high-risk drinking behaviour.
“To ensure that all students are catered for, more inclusive spaces are needed to meet their varying needs.”