Education: Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
Days of wine and lectures: Luton University students often spend their free time in the pub - and now they are having lectures there. The cash-strapped university is staging classes in a local wine bar, and in the less popular, but equally bizarre, setting of the nearby Salvation Army hall because it is so short of space. The move has earned a blast from the Student Union for discriminating against Moslem students, who are not allowed on premises that sell alcohol. One humanities' student at the wine bar said: "It seems like every student's dream. and everyone is having a laugh about it, but unfortunately we're not allowed to drink and learn. Still, we don't have to go far for a drink after lessons."

God save the Queen: The Queen has booked a group of schoolboy unknowns to play a private pop gig at Buckingham Palace after they sent her a cheeky letter and a CD. The four teenagers - three of whom were studying for their GCSEs earlier this year at Bury Grammar School - sent a note and a recording of their songs asking for a chance to play. The Palace wrote back agreeing to book the group - called Al!ve - for Prince Charles's 50th birthday reception. Now the group (Andy Ross, 16, Darren Kane, 16, Martin Whyment, 16 and Craig Stelnicki, 17) will play in front of 800 guests tomorrow. Rock 'n' roll carnage at the Palace? Unlikely, as they explained in their letter: "We are four good lads who don't do drugs, aren't scruffy and don't use foul language."

Elementary mistake: A 105-year-old retired Swiss teacher has been ordered to attend elementary school in Eschallens, thanks to a computer that cut a century off his age. A list of local residents had only the last two digits of his birth date, said Roland Dougoud, the town hall secretary. So the man, along with 65 five-year-olds in the town, received a letter ordering him to start school. As a result: "We have changed the computer program in question," Dougoud said.

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