UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Chicago, IL, USA
In a study published this week from the University of Chicago, researchers found that olfactory malfunction — the loss of the sense of smell — is a strong predictor of death. In a study conducted from 2005-06, older adults were asked to identify five different scents: peppermint, fish, orange, rose and leather. After adjusting the study to account for variances in participants’ age, physical and mental health, education level, and alcohol or substance abuse, researchers found that 40% of the 3,005 participants tested who failed the smell test had died, compared to 10% of those who had a healthy sense of smell in a follow-up in 2010-11. The study concluded that olfactory malfunction was better at predicting mortality than diagnosis of heart failure, cancer or lung disease.
FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Two gunmen belonging to terrorist group Boko Haram set off explosives at FCE, followed by shooting 13 people to death and leaving another 34 wounded. The gunmen initially gained access to the campus after opening fire at a security checkpoint, and were later subdued when responding police killed both assailants. This is not the first time Boko Haram has targeted students — their name translates to “Western education is forbidden,” in the local Hausa language. Their most well-known incident occurred earlier this year in April when the group abducted 230 schoolgirls from the northeastern town of Chibok.
UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Academicians convened this week at the University of Malaya — the country’s oldest and most esteemed university — to host a forum where the topic of discussion was over Malaysia’s Sedition Act, which limits free speech and poses a threat to academic freedom. The event was hosted in response to the charges recently brought against law professor, Dr. Azmi Sharom, who voiced unpopular opinions about the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis. Many of Dr. Sharom’s colleagues expressed concerns over self-censorship in the classroom, to which participants in the forum agreed could create a “climate of fear”, and suppress “critical thinking, debate and feedback.”
UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE
Students belonging to the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) have demanded the withdrawal of the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe’s, PhD certificate, arguing its incredibility. ZINASU claims that the First Lady enrolled at the university in July of this year, and completed her PhD thesis last month — a record two months. Her husband President Robert Mugabe, who is also the chancellor of the university, awarded the certificate to his wife, and angry students are planning to file a court application demanding details of the award. ZINASU states that awarding the qualification negatively affects the reputation of the university and is a violation of academic ethics.