I have had my iPad for 6 months now - my first Apple product in many years - and have never experienced one moment's difficulty with it. It never forgets passwords, moves seamlessly between WiFi and 3G, works great with my University WiFi too, has a stunning battery life and - well - just works great.
I suspect you must have a faulty unit because the behaviour you describe is most certainly not typical of an iPad. If it was supplied by your University, then why not return it to the IT Manager and see if they can issue you with a replacement. I'm sure you'll find that this will work just fine.
Good Luck and I hope you manage to get your problems resolved.