We get plenty of spurious reports and research sent to the Inapub Inn, much of which is designed to push whatever product someone is trying to sell.

However, just occasionally something comes in that can't be ignored. Such was the case when stats about the behaviour of students reached our inbox.

Apparently (and I use that word because I am not 100 per cent sure I believe the report) today's undergraduates are more interested in going to the gym (favoured by 41 per cent), shopping (66 per cent), watching TV (59 per cent), reading (35 per cent) or cooking (31 per cent) than they are in going to the pub (a measly 27 per cent).

This is nothing short of a national scandal!

As a fairly decent band once said, it was 20 years ago today (nearly) when I started my own student life. In the 1990s going to the pub was something that happened virtually every day. You would meet friends, socialise after sport, clubs or class or just hang out when you wanted more than the plastic cups of lager and paper plates with chips with cheese that the SU Bar could offer.

Now I'm not saying that students should be encouraged to give up reading or, heaven forbid, TV boxsets, but they should still be going to the pub.

It remains the best place to meet new people, student and civilian alike, and to create new experiences and memories in a way that working up a sweat in a gym can't replicate.



 If healthy living is your thing the pub can accommodate that too. These days a pub's offer is much more likely to appeal to the health conscious than it did to my own B&H and Stella Artois generation.

And even more good news is that virtually all of the things that students list as being preferable to a pub visit - and much more - can be done at the pub anyway.



So licensees in student cities and towns, get them in and tell them they can read in the pub, watch TV, eat great food and even shop online if they so desire.

Whether you choose to install weights and a treadmill to attract them is of course entirely up to you.