Academic Progress Reviews - Academic Services - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Academic Progress Reviews

What is the academic progress review?

The University of Canterbury monitors the academic progress of all students. At the end of each semester, the records of students who have failed to make satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed by their College. During this process, the students’ academic transcripts are considered to assess their likelihood of success, as well as ensuring they are able to meet the professional requirements for their chosen degree. Students found to have made unsatisfactory academic progress may have restrictions placed on their enrolment, or be excluded from their Award/College/UC.

During this process, the University communicates with all students whose grades are of concern to direct them toward the help and support they need, or towards other avenues in which they may be more successful.

How does UC decide who is not succeeding?

Twice yearly, after mid-year and end-of-year course results are released, the grades of all undergraduate students are analysed and, if they meet certain criteria, they undergo an academic progress review.  These criteria include (UC Calendar 2017, I. Academic Progress, 1-3, pg 45) (PDF, 261KB):

  1. Not passing half or more of the points the student is enrolled in
  2. GPA for the current year of less than 1.0
  3. Failure to demonstrate competence in professional requirements
  4. Withdrawal from more than half of enrolled courses in the preceding two years
  5. Failure to demonstrate any likelihood of success

What is a GPA?

GPA stands for Grade Point Average (UC Calendar 2017, C. Work and Assessment, 5, pg 41) (PDF, 261KB). To find their current GPA a student should look at the top left corner of their internal transcript located on UC Student Web.  Each grade a student receives has a corresponding numerical grade value assigned to it:

A+ = 9 B+ = 6 C+ = 3 D  = 0
A  = 8 B  = 5 C  = 2 E  = -1
A- = 7 B- = 4 C- = 1 X  = -3

The GPA is based on an average which is calculated by multiplying each grade’s value by the course’s points to achieve a Grade Point Total, which is then divided by the total number of points taken (see the example below).


Course Code Grade Grade Value Points Grade Point Total GPA
TREO111 B- → 4 x 15 = 60  
SOCI112 C → 2 x 15 = 30  
PSYC105 C- → 1 x 15 = 15  
PSYC106 D → 0 x 15 = 0  
LAWS101 C- → 1 x 30 = 30  
      90 135 1.5

Working: 135/90 = 1.5 GPA

What happens if a student's academic progress is reviewed?

The students who meet the criteria for academic progress review may receive one of the following (UC Calendar 2017, I. Academic Progress, 4-5, pg 46) (PDF, 261KB):

  1. Warning – this may be given if a continuing student has not made sufficient academic progress. Restrictions may be placed on the numbers of points they can enrol in.
  2. Exclusion from an Award or a College – this may be given if a student has previously been given a Warning and has not made sufficient academic progress in a subsequent round.  These exclusions prevent the student from continuing to study in the same qualification, any of the subjects in that qualification or in that College.
  3. Exclusion from the University – this may be given if a student has previously been given an exclusion from an Award or a College and has not made sufficient academic progress in a subsequent semester.  This exclusion prevents the student from continuing to study at the University of Canterbury.

Students are notified of these outcomes via email the week following the release of grades and are able to request a review of the decision. It is important students check their uclive student email address to ensure they do not miss the deadline to request a review.

Can a student request a review of their exclusion?

If a student has received an exclusion from an Award, College or from the University but there were exceptional circumstances at the time then the student may provide evidence of these and request that the exclusion be reviewed. The same also applies to students with restrictions placed on their enrolment.

Students will need to request a review of the decision to exclude them within a specified timeframe. The University will communicate a student’s exclusion via email and students should check their email regularly to ensure the date does not pass. For assistance through this process, they should contact the UCSA Student Advocate, or UC Student Support.

Students should outline the exceptional circumstances that impaired their ability to successfully complete their course of study, or significantly impaired their ability to perform in an assessment.
Evidence should be provided (such as medical certificates, death notices, other relevant documents) to support the student’s application.

The student should then explain why the impairment is no longer likely to impact on their ability to successfully complete their studies, and how they will ensure their success going forward.

If the impairment is significant, and can be verified, the exclusion may be removed and the student be permitted to continue their study.    (UC Calendar 2017, I. Academic Progress, 6, pg 46) (PDF, 261KB)

Does an exclusion mean a student cannot study in the excluded College (or at the University) ever again?

An exclusion means you are excluded from the named faculty or from the University for the future BUT the University would consider allowing the student readmission after:

  • at least one year of successful study elsewhere (in another College or at another tertiary institution) or at least one year of successful work experience in relevant employment
  • Evidence of their likelihood of success in future university studies

Applications for readmission to a Course, Subject, Award or College shall be made to the College Dean.
Applications for readmission to the University shall be made to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
For support or advocacy through these processes, students should contact the UCSA Student Advocate, or UC Student Support.

(UC Calendar 2017, I. Academic Progress, 8, pg 46) (PDF, 261KB)

For domestic students: how does the academic progress review affect StudyLink?

Please note StudyLink is a Government Agency and information is subject to change. Students should visit  to ensure all information provided is current and accurate.

Actions taken by the University during the academic progress review may impact on a student’s regular StudyLink payments. This refers to students who have had restrictions placed on the number of points they can take, and students excluded from a Faculty, or the University.

In some cases, students with restrictions placed on their study will experience an interruption in their StudyLink payments as their circumstances have changed. These students should check their eligibility for ‘Limited Full-time Study’ on the Studylink website, and follow the process to apply as soon as possible.

There are other factors regarding StudyLink eligibility that are relevant to students affected by the academic progress review.

The StudyLink website advises that a student needs to pass more than half of the course that they are enrolled in to continue to be eligible for a Student Allowance. The same test is also applied to assess Student Loan eligibility once a student has completed 1.6 EFTS (usually about 2 years of study).

More information is available on the StudyLink Website:

For international students: how does exclusion affect their student visa?

An exclusion can have serious consequences for international students.

International students studying in New Zealand must have a student visa/permit which specifies the institution they are studying at and the qualification they are studying.  This means that if they change their plan of study they are legally obliged to apply for a new student visa/permit. 

International students who have been excluded need to decide whether to study in another qualification at UC (this is not an option if they have been excluded from the University), to study at another tertiary institution, to apply for an alternative temporary permit, or to return to their home country.

For further information about student visas/permits contact Enrolments at Or Student Support

What should a student do if they are struggling with their study?

The academic progress review process can be ‘a wake-up call’ for students struggling with their studies, who have not previously asked for help. The University would recommend they take the opportunity to speak with friends, whanau and university staff to seek sound advice and be directed to the help that is available. 

Students who struggle with time management, study skills, exam skills, problems with academic writing, English language difficulties, etc can talk to college student advisors and be directed to the help they need:

Students who are experiencing difficulties personally or financially so that it is having an impact on their study should contact:

For all other enquiries regarding Academic Progress, contact Louise Knewstubb , +64 3 369 5592 (ext 95592)

  • Academic Services
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
    Phone +64 3 369 3971 ext 93971
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