The local pub, one of the last bastions of British tradition - and a threatened one if we are to believe what we read - appears next in line for the ubiquitous culture change. In the vanguard, Midlands brewer Ansells, which, along with the University of Wolverhampton, has just introduced Britain's first BA in Licensed Retailing. Students for the three-year course, which begins next spring, are expected to go beyond bar-room bonhomie and the pulling of the perfect pint into the cerebral realms of TQM and customer analysis. All, according to the university, will be current Ansells staff, their ages ranging from from 18 to 45.
Other colleges are already said to be interested in running similar courses, including one redbrick institution with reputedly terrible beer. Students who excel will be further motivated by the news that Wolverhampton is considering the option of a post-graduate pro-gramme - and, pace the Maastricht militants - the inclusion of a European module in the BA course.