AQUA

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Many students think that if they fail courses it is no one’s business but their own, but they are wrong!  The University has an obligation to  ensure students seek help for their lack of progress and to stop accepting fees from students when they are gaining no benefit.  Those students who are not succeeding in their study can be directed into other avenues where they are more likely to succeed, or toward the help and support they need.

How does UC decide who is not succeeding?

Twice yearly, after mid-year and end-of-year course results are published, the grades of all undergraduate students are analysed and, if they meet certain criteria, they undergo an academic progress review.  This criteria includes (UC Calendar 2013, I. Academic Progress, 1-3, pg 50) (PDF, 261KB):

1. Not passing half or more of the points the student is enrolled in
2. An overall GPA of less than 1.5
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 2013, C. Work and Assessment, 5, pg 46) (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, for example:

 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 weight to achieve a sum, which is then divided by the total course weight (see the example below).

For example:

 Course Code Grade Grade Value Points Total Points GPA TREO110 B → 5 x 18 = 90 SOCI112 C → 2 x 18 = 36 PSYC105 C- → 1 x 15 = 15 PSYC106 D → 0 x 15 = 0 LAWS101 E → -1 x 36 = -36 (Total Points 102) 105 ÷ 102 = 1.03

The students who meet the criteria for academic progress review will normally receive one of the following (UC Calendar 2013, I. Academic Progress, 4-5, pg 51) (PDF, 261KB):

1. Warning – this is given the first time a student’s academic progress is reviewed.
2. Exclusion from an Award or a Faculty – this is 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 faculty.
3. Exclusion from the University – this is given if a student has previously been given an exclusion from an award or a faculty and has not made sufficient academic progress in a subsequent round.  This exclusion prevents the student from continuing to study at the University of Canterbury.

Ideally, if you suffer from illness, bereavement or some  other problem that impairs your study, you will have applied for an aegrotat or a discontinuation and thus escaped academic progress review, however, some students suffering serious impairment fail to do this by the required deadline.  If this is the case and it results in an exclusion from an award, faculty or from the University then the student may provide evidence of their impairment and request that the exclusion be reviewed.  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 2013, I. Academic Progress, 6, pg 51) (PDF, 261KB)

What should you do if you are struggling with your study?

For students who struggle with their study  and have not asked for help the academic progress review process can be ‘a wake-up call’ for them, an opportunity for them to receive 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:

Does an exclusion mean you cannot study in the excluded faculty (or at the university) ever again?

An exclusion means you are excluded from the named faculty or from the University for the future BUT after at least a year of successful study elsewhere (in another faculty or at another tertiary institution) or other similar achievement in relevant employment a student may apply for readmission to the excluded faculty or to the University.  In order to demonstrate their readiness for successful study they will need to provide evidence that they have been passing the majority of their courses in the other faculty or at the other tertiary institution.  (UC Calendar 2013, I. Academic Progress, 8, pg 51) (PDF, 261KB)

If you are an international student, how does exclusion affect your student visa?

An exclusion can have even more 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 student-visa@canterbury.ac.nz.

For all other enquiries contact Pam Grant.