Are all university administration dysfunctional? In my some 7 years of university education, I have had extreme administrative/bureaucratic problems, due to which I’ve been forced to change degree programs, lost potential scholarships and lost a year’s worth of work. All of these stem from either no one telling me what I need to do to fulfil some sort of bureaucratic requirement or other people actually messing up said requirements themselves.

Other less-life-changing hurdles I’ve had to jump are e.g.

I can no longer trust anything that happens or anything that anyone says at this university, but unfortunately these experiences just remind me of the same problems I had during my undergraduate studies, which was at a different university, and I have got no “justice” of any kind for any of these problems at any university. Is university administration/bureaucracy inherently disfunctional and something students just have to “deal with”?

I am currently in Year 12 (13 in September) and took a combination of AS and A2-Levels in Mathematics this May/June. I just got my results back, and even though I am personally satisfied with them, they are not outstanding.

Now, I have always been good at mathematics (I have always been considered the go-to person for help by classmates, and have been praised a lot by teachers), but have always struggled with standardised tests like A-Levels and SATs, as they focus on very specific types of questions (sometimes they just change the variables) and expect a candidate to be able to rush through them.

Whilst I don’t mind doing badly in standardised tests (I always get 100% in the same tests when allowed to take more time, so I clearly do understand the material), I will probably not be offered an interview by a good university unless I manage to get 95%+ in most of my exams.

I intend on resitting most of my exams this year, but the results are likely to be the same unless I can change something.

Hence my question: how can I do better at timed tests like A-Levels given that the material is not the problem?

I’m attending a university this fall, where I’ve received a lot of money in grants from financial aid. I’ve heard that I will be picking up a check with my financial awards each semester. I am living off-campus as I live in town (in-state), meaning I only have to pay about $5,500 each Fall and Spring. I’ve Received around $16,000 in grants per year, and I’ve heard a lot of speculation about what I can do with that extra money.

I’ve been told that, so long as I complete the year with all the university’s academic conditions, that money is mine to use as I see fit. On the contrary, I’ve also been told by a separate party that I may get a fine for spending the money anywhere outside of the university.

In addition to this, I have scholarships that will be awarded in the next two weeks. If those go towards that $5,500, does that mean I have even more left over grants at my disposal?

Note, by highly technical skills I mean anything that isn’t directly taught by your course (i.e. programming/coding, use of specialist lab equipment, mathematical expertise)

I am student of Earth Sciences/Geography within the UK.

I’m planning on doing a masters and in brainstorming ideas for my application’s thesis proposal, I often run up against the issue of lacking specific technical skills needed to conduct the study. Should I let this hamper me? I worry I’m restricting my potential by only choosing topics in which I can wholly conduct every step of the research/analysis independently.

For example, my undergraduate dissertation required large datasets and modifying open-source software, meaning I independently taught my self to code. Another student looked at microfossils which required the use of a spectrometer.

Although both of skills were not taught to us, I independently taught my self to code while uni staff operated the spectrometer machine for my peer, meaning he didn’t have to learn it.

If I want to study, say, microplastics in fish, will I need to be able know how to use the required lab equipment and interpret the results or is it acceptable to outsource this?


To word my question another way, University thesis: How can you utilise highly technical skills without falling into the rut of teaching your self everything from scratch?

I taught my self coding for the sake of my undergraduate dissertation, at the cost of a loss of free time which could be spent on my area of study (Earth Science, not Computer Science). Coding is not the direction I want to take in life despite the effort to learn it. I, therefore, do not want to invest so heavily in another one-off skill for my masters.

My two main concerns are:

  • Restricting my potential research topics to studies which I can wholly conduct and interpret each research technique.
  • Become stuck teaching my self a skill which I do not desire to follow up in the future (i.e. a statistical technique, coding, lab equip)
  • Use up a lot of time independently learning said technique

Real life example

In the question linked here, a SE user discusses how during his masters two programmers were hired to help with programming. Would it be reasonable to request the university for someone to help with a skill I’ve not been taught (i.e. coding or high-level statistics) for my master’s thesis?

I’m a student who is about to complete his three-year degree in physics in Italy and would be interested in quantum information and quantum
technologies. I am looking for the universities that offer a master in this subject both through google and quantiki.
I want to ask if one more effective way to have a list of all the world’s masters in this field exists. From two previous sources I can never find a complete list.
Thank you

This question asks about the history of why Howard University in Washington, DC, USA has remained a school whose student and faculty bodies are predominantly African-American.

Do “historically [minority ethnic group]” universities exist in a meaningful sense outside the USA? For example, are there universities in Spain which are historically known for targeting or serving the ethnic Basque community? Are there “Historically Italian” universities in Argentina? Do the Ainu of Japan tend to predominate at a specific Japanese university?

This question is not about whether specialized minority-serving academic institutions should exist, or what their social, political, or economic ramifications are, if any.

This question involves something other than a request to churn and process statistical data – it is a question about social realities and social perceptions in academia.

As a thank you to my thesis supervisor, I would like to write some sort of letter expressing my gratitude for the work he has done for me.

I was wondering if students ever write letters in such a way that they can be used by professors as a sort of “reference” letter when applying for jobs or teaching grants. For reference, my supervisor is a Senior Lecturer at a university in the Australian system. Would a letter like this be appreciated? What should it look like?

White supremacist groups have been marching down in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the University of Virginia (article).

Does this also in some ways reflect on the university itself for allowing the march to happen (see the disturbing photos in the linked NY Times article) and for all the subsequent violence to occur?

People who have international graduate students or know them can someone (or themselves are) specifically tell me about this:

Is it common / something usual for them to sometimes go home for the summer? Like the entire summer?

Have you ever had cases where they did not do an internship on campus nor anything in the lab but went home for the entire summer? What do they usually do back home?

People who have international graduate students or know them can someone (or themselves are) specifically tell me about this:

Is it common / something usual for them to sometimes go home for the summer? Like the entire summer?

Have you ever had cases where they did not do an internship on campus nor anything in the lab but went home for the entire summer? What do they usually do back home?