Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition but...
The University expects students to complete their qualifications in a reasonable amount of time and with reasonable amount of ongoing success. The term used is Academic Progress and can affect students in a number of ways. A student that fails more than 50% of their enrolled subjects in any one semester (or fails a subject for the second time) will trigger an intervention. The intervention could be anything from a simple warning letter to a letter demanding an explanantion and an invitation to meet with the Academic Progress Officer for a hearing.
Unsatisfactory progress is commonly referred to as a 'Show Cause'. It's a process of review for students who haven't met the academic requirements for their course.
The process begins with an official letter from the University. It's important that you start preparing your case as soon as you receive the letter. With the letter there will be a link to an online form that will prompt you for some reasons behind your poor performance. It includes some check boxes that help you identify common reasons but also gives you the opportunity to write a letter explaining your circumstances in more detail. The Student Advocate at the BSA can help you write your letter and ensure that it states your case as strongly as possible.
A meeting with the Unsatisfactory Progress Commitee (UPC) will then be arranged. This will help the University decide on your academic future. The UPC will look at your form (and letter), past academic history as well as your performance during the semester. They will listen to your reasons for your poor performance and your strategies for addressing the issues then weigh everything up to arrive at a solution that works best for you. The Student Advocate can attend the meeting with you if you wish.
What are the possible outcomes?
The University will want a solution that gives you the best chance at succeeding with your course. They will want to work out whether your poor grades are due to temporary issues that can be remedied or whether you simply don't have the academic ability.
If you have demonstrated some strategies for turning your study around, the Uni will let you continue but may set some conditions. Typically these include things like:
- Reducing your study load to 3 or less subjects
- Taking a leave of absence for 1 or 2 semesters
- Ensuring that subjects are passed next time around or face exclusion
If they don't think you can succeed, you may be exluded from your course. This means you will not be allowed to re-enrol and continue with your course. While the University will want to give you opportunities, they do not want you to add to your HELP fees without a reasonable chance of passing.