Exclusion

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Why would I be excluded?

As a QUT student, you’re expected to maintain a minimum grade of 3.0. If your grade falls below 3.0, the University will put you on probation. If your grades do not improve, you become eligible for exclusion. This means that the University sends you a “show cause” letter – a letter that asks you to explain the cause of your poor grades.

How do I become eligible for exclusion?

You may be excluded if:

  • you have failed a subject 3 or more times
  • your GPA is less than 3 in consecutive teaching periods other than in the first 96 credit points of your course
  • you have failed a designated unit twice; or
  • you have exceeded the maximum time limit for your course; or
  • you have failed to meet the requirements of your research degree candidature

Designated units include professional experience units and units requiring certain personal qualities. You can find a list of designated units online at the Student Gateway.

What does exclusion mean?

Exclusion means that you are excluded for a minimum period of 12 months from your QUT  degree or a like degree. Most other Universities will honour this and not allow you to enrol with them either.

Can I appeal this decision?

Yes, of course. You have the right to appeal your exclusion and if you are successful you can continue in your degree the next year as usual. When you receive your show cause letter, it will detail how to appeal the University’s decision. You will make an application to the relevant Faculty’s Exclusions Committee.

How do I appeal?

You need to fill in an Appeal Against Exclusion (AP) form. You will need to write a personal statement, which should be one to two pages, detailing the reasons why your academic performance wasn’t satisfactory.

They’re looking for circumstances beyond your control that caused you to be unable to perform to your potential. This could be illness, a death in the family, psychiatric conditions, etc. You will need to provide independent supporting documentation, such as from a doctor and/or counsellor. If you have been excluded for failing a unit three times you will need to specifically redress why this occurred and what measures you will put in place to ensure that you will pass it next time you enrol in it.

Then you need to write about exactly how that affected your ability to perform academically. You need to do this in detail. For instance, illness might have caused you to miss class. Don’t stop there! Write about how that disadvantaged you; for instance, it might have meant you couldn’t ask your tutors questions when you were confused about course content.

After that, you need to explain how your circumstances have gotten better. They want to see that if they let you back into your course that you can do better. This might be a doctor’s treatment plan, reducing your work hours, seeing a counsellor – whatever it is you need to do to remedy your individual issue.

The last step is the most important one: documentation. You need to prove to the Committee that everything you’re saying is true. There’s no such thing as too much as long as it’s relevant. Make sure you evidence both your exceptional circumstances, and your remedy. Take your original documentation when you hand it in, and they will make copies for you.

Your application needs to be handed in to the Student Centre before the date on your show cause letter.

Lots of students make the following common mistakes:

  • An application that is too short. You need to be thorough and convincing. Show your passion for learning!
  • Merely explaining the last semester. If you have had a long history of poor academic performance, explain any circumstances from the whole period. Tell the Committee everything or they will question whether you have the capacity to do well in the future.
  • Glossing over your good performance. If you’ve done well, point it out! Show the Committee that you’re capable of getting good grades.
  • Leaving out important things. Within reason, no circumstances are too trivial to write about. If you believe that it impacted on your studies, the Committee should know about it.
  • Forgetting to proofread. You’re trying to show the Committee that you’re a competent student – try not to make mistakes in your appeal.

If you need help writing your application, come and see us at the Guild’s Student Rights Hub. We will write your application on your behalf to get you the best outcome.

But the University dismissed my appeal!

The decision is final within the university but you may via the QUT Student Ombudsman appeal the decision on procedural grounds only.

What if I am excluded?

You can apply for readmission after one year. See Readmission After Exclusion.