As a result of the "I drink smart!" initiative by Dreher Breweries (part of Asahi Europe & International), the topic of responsible alcohol consumption has become part of university classes. The pilot course of the program's UNI series started at Budapest Metropolitan University in the fall of 2022. Since the program's start, over a hundred graduate and postgraduate students have studied and designed awareness campaigns on moderate alcohol consumption. Following the success of the pilot semester, the unique initiative continues on other universities as well: Budapest Corvinus University and Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design also joined with their courses.
The latest initiative of the "I drink smart" program, which has been running for 14 years, was created to promote the education of responsible alcohol consumption in the widest possible audience. It aims to initiate a dialogue on the topic and to engage young adults from the very beginning of the legal drinking age, starting at 18 years old.
Within the framework of "I drink smart - UNI," students have the opportunity to explore domestic and international trends, legislation, and challenges related to alcohol consumption with unconventional intensity. The provided study material and active project work allow them to develop their awareness of moderation and become responsible drinking ambassadors themselves. The concept of the "I drink smart - UNI" program is that students design a feasible project that can effectively and credibly address their own age group. In the program one of the main focuses are on the practical aspects: stepping out of the theoretical framework, students had the opportunity to work on real social issues and tasks that could be implemented on a national level, with strong professional mentoring. This was reflected in the quality and complexity of the presented works. The developed project works were evaluated by a professional jury, which included the university management, instructors, as well as representatives from the client and creative agency side.
In the first practical-focused courses of "Ésszel-iszom! UNI," 60 undergraduate students from Budapest Metropolitan University's Commerce and Marketing, as well as Communication and Media Science programs, along with 10 postgraduate students (Strategic Marketing Executive MBA), were able to earn credits. The students' task was to plan an effective campaign to promote responsible alcohol consumption among young adults.
This spring, the program was included in Budapest Metropolitan University's consolidated postgraduate program for Public Relations. Subsequently, it became one of the elective courses offered during the joint spring semester at Budapest Corvinus University and Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. In the spring semester of 2023, a total of nearly 50 graduate and postgraduate students participated in the "I drink smart - UNI" program. Starting from autumn, the initiative will reach more domestic higher education institutions so that more young adults can become more conscious about responsible alcohol consumption while expanding their professional knowledge.
The university program can be adapted to various academic fields (e.g., law, marketing, finance, medicine) and formats (e.g., workshops, block theme days, semester courses). In all implementation modes, students create project works that authentically convey the message: "Irresponsible alcohol consumption is not cool."
Based on the preliminary questionnaire results, 77.3% of the students stated that during the course, they gained a better understanding of the culture, background, and effects of alcohol consumption, enabling them to be more aware of what to pay attention for in order to avoid extremes. Additionally, 50% of the students specifically believed that there are several aspects of their drinking habits that they should change.