BACKGROUND: Many studies indicate that a substantial part of the student population drinks excessively, yet most European universities do not have an alcohol policy. In the absence of an alcohol guideline at universities and the easy access to alcohol sold at the student cafeteria, for instance, this has the potential to place students at risk of overconsumption, which has adverse health consequences.
OBJECTIVES: Therefore, our study objectives were to explore and compare university students' experiences and attitudes toward alcohol policy on their campus using a qualitative approach.
METHODS: 29 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted among students from universities in five European countries: Belgium (4 FGDs), Denmark (6 FGDs), France (5 FGDs), Hungary (6 FGDs), and the Slovak Republic (8 FGDs), with a total number of 189 participants.
RESULTS: Across the five European countries, students recognized that alcohol was a big problem on their campuses yet they knew very little, if any, about the rules concerning alcohol on their campus.
CONCLUSIONS: Students will not support an on campus alcohol restriction and a policy should therefore focus on prevention initiatives.