Exclusion Letter from The Faculty
Check when your appeal is due. The deadline is not negotiable, and missing this deadline is likely to lead to automatic exclusion, for a period of at least 4 semesters. If you have missed this deadline, talk to an SRC Caseworker as soon as possible.
If You Did Not Submit a Show Good Cause Letter
If you did not submit a Show Good Cause letter, start by explaining why. Where possible, provide supporting documents for why you missed your Show Cause deadline. You should also explain how this will not cause you to fail subjects in the future. Keep in mind that saying you did not think you would receive a show good cause notice is not likely to be viewed well by the faculty, as you would have received Stage One and Stage Two notifications that would have told you that failing another subject would lead to Stage Three (show good cause).
What You Should Write
Briefly outline what caused you to fail, and how your study was affected. For example, being unable to attend classes, not being able to concentrate, missing deadlines, etc. Do this for each semester that you were enrolled, not just the most recent one. You do not need to include much detailed information in this section. Where possible, attach supporting documentation.
Previous Show Good Cause
If you have been asked to Show Good Cause in previous semesters you should also briefly mention the solutions you said you would use and explain why they did not work.
This is by far the most important part of your letter. If you do not have plausible solutions, it is likely that you will continue failing. Clearly link your solutions to the problems you have faced in the past.
The faculty may have stated reasons for not accepting your Show Good Cause and you should address these, along with the problems you have mentioned, in your appeal. Explain what action you are taking to get relevant help and how those problems will not cause you to fail again. Avoid general statements like, “I will try harder”, or “I will improve my study studies”, and be specific, e.g., “I am enrolled in the Note Taking workshop on 1st March”; or I have completed the Learning Hub’s Time Management module. Explain why this is helpful, e.g., “this will help me to complete essays before the due date and gain better assessment marks”. If your solution is that the problem has been resolved, you should also explain what you would do in the future if you experienced a similar situation.
In addition, explain what other solutions you are using to achieve the best marks possible. This includes meeting with your academic advisor, having better time management, improving your study skills, and understanding University’s processes including Special Consideration, Discontinue Not Fail. It is also a good idea to consider reducing your study load, and attach a degree plan. International students are allowed to study a reduced load if it helps them to avoid failing in the future or if they have medical grounds. Provide supporting documents for each of your solutions. You should already have started using these solutions.
If you have received marks that show you are now successfully completing these studies mention this, e.g., I have been attending all lectures and tutorials and have passed all my quizzes to date.
After You Submit Your Exclusion Letter
It is important to enrol while you are appealing and continue studying, attend all your lectures and tutorials, and complete all assessments.
There are 2 possible outcomes to your exclusion appeal:
- You are successful and allowed re-admission
It is great that you can continue studying but make sure that you pass all your subjects in future. Use the solutions you mentioned in your letter, and if you have any difficulty at all during the semester talk to an SRC Caseworker or academic advisor as soon as possible. Remember you stay on Stage 3 for the next two semesters, so it is important your next two semesters are successful – choose your subjects carefully.
- Your exclusion appeal is declined, and the faculty excludes you
If you can show that the faculty did not correctly consider your appeal, and in some way breached policy or was procedurally unfair, you could lodge an appeal with the Student Appeals Body (SAB). They will only consider appeals that can demonstrate a policy breach or procedural unfairness.
The SAB will not consider an appeal simply because you are not happy with the result. It is rare for an exclusion appeal decision to be turned over by the SAB. The minimum exclusion period is 4 semesters, and re-admission is not automatic. You will need to apply for readmission and show that you used your time away from university to deal with all the problems that impacted your studies. You will also need to show that you have developed effective strategies to be successful as a student. International students should note that exclusion is likely to affect your visa.
How To Write Your Letter
You can use the following template to help you write your letter but do not include this with your letter. The first section gives an example of how you can complete the table.
Take the information you wrote in the above table and convert that into your letter…
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
I wish to appeal the Faculty’s decision to exclude me from the <your degree>.
<If you did not submit a Show Good Cause letter explain why here>
<Outline each of the problems that you experienced and the effect they had on your ability to pass your subjects>
<Include each of the reasons that the Faculty used to explain why they want to exclude you and respond to each of these>
I am confident that I can successfully complete my studies in the future. <Outline each of the solutions that you will use to solve previous problems>
In addition to this I will also <explain what other solutions you are using to achieve the best marks possible>.
<In one or two sentences explain your commitment to the course>
<Sign your name>
<List the supporting documents that you are providing>