One of the things I think can change in higher education is that having mentors for graduate students to be mandatory like having advisors. Essentially, how I think is that grad students especially PhD students in their early years of study will need more general advice that can help them survive the PhD and solve their challenges they face. I think there are more challenges in the first years of study than the later years. Later years in PhD study is more dedicated to the research than other things. In early years students have to get very serious decisions like choosing the advisor, selecting the area of study, selecting the topic of research and many other decisions that need to be made probably by the help of more professional and senior people than the student alone because I think these kinds of decisions effect our PhD and later our carrier path a lot. We actually have mentors in the departments but I think the role of mentors are not very serious or at least many students are not aware of them. The other thing that I really like to be changed in university and we discussed it a little bit in class was that students can give feedback to the faculty members. Right now we have students’ feed back on how well faculties teach in class but we don’t have this kind of feed back for other things. For instance, if some one is in charge of graduate coordinator of the department but never answers any emails by students or an advisor who is very aggressive and doesn’t behave properly or respect well the students.
The other thing is the way students get assessed in graduate school and basically I mean the grades and the GPA. I think the weight of grades and GPA should be lower for grad students and there must be other ways to assess the graduate students depending on the course and area of study. The topic of grades and assessment of students are quite controversial and there are lots of debates on that from primary school all the way to the grad school. But, we all know the fact that the pressure of the grade can lower the quality of learning. Students at higher level of education should be trained in a way to be more creative and bring new ideas. Still, I don’t have clear solution in mind but as I sayed this topic is very controversial and many expert people in education design program have worked on it.