Show Cause | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Show Cause

Have you been asked to Show Cause?

The University monitors your academic performance to ensure you are moving toward successfully completing your program requirements.

If you have not been successful in your studies – for example, if you have achieved a study period GPA of less than 3.0 in more than one study period, or have failed certain courses for a second time – you will be considered for exclusion and asked to ‘Show Cause’. This means you need to demonstrate why you should be allowed to continue your studies.

What does exclusion mean?

Exclusion means that your enrolment will be cancelled and you won’t be eligible to study at USC for at least 12 months. You will need to apply for re-admission after that time.

Why have I been asked to Show Cause?

Academic progress and unsatisfactory performance is managed under the University’s Monitoring Academic Progress and Exclusion (MAP) academic policy and procedures. These procedures are divided into three stages:

  • Early intervention (MAP Stage 1)
  • Monitored enrolment (MAP Stage 2)
  • Consideration for exclusion (MAP Stage 3)

If you have been asked to Show Cause, it is because you have been identified for consideration for exclusion (MAP Stage 3).

Consideration for exclusion (MAP Stage 3)

You are considered for exclusion if you have previously been on monitored enrolment (MAP Stage 2) and your academic performance has not improved during this time.

The monitored enrolment period is designed to give you an opportunity to access resources and support that will help you improve your results. At the start of your monitored enrolment period you would have been asked to complete an Academic Improvement Plan, and to record the actions you have taken to improve your academic performance.

You have the right to ‘Show Cause’ against exclusion, to explain why you should not be excluded and allowed to continue your studies. If you do not submit Show Cause Response, you will be automatically excluded from the university for 12 months and will need to apply for readmission after this time.

How do I submit my Show Cause Response?

You must submit your Show Cause Response via the form in your exclusion notice email. You must submit it by the due date in your email notification. If you cannot find or access the Show Cause Response form please contact Student Central.

Essential information for Student visa holders

Your current Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) lists the date on which you are expected to complete your studies. As you have been asked to Show Cause, it is unlikely that you will be finished by the date specified. Your enrolment will be maintained and no changes will be made to your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) until the period for submitting a Show Cause Response has finished or during any subsequent appeal under the Student Grievance Resolution - Procedure.

You may be eligible for a CoE extension if you have had an academic intervention as a result of having to Show Cause. Extensions are considered on a case by case basis. Enquiries regarding Confirmation of Enrolment extensions can be directed to USC International.

If you are successful in your Show Cause you should consult with Student Central staff for advice regarding the full range of support services available to assist you with your studies.

If you are excluded, USC will notify the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) of the cancellation of your CoE. The validity of your Student visa may be affected. At this point you should contact DIBP for advice regarding your Student visa status.

This may affect your eligibility for your current and any future Student visas. It is strongly recommended that you make contact with DIBP as soon as you are notified of your exclusion to discuss your situation with them.

You can also contact USC International Student Services to discuss the implications of this process with regard to your CoE on 07 5430 2843 or email

How do I Show Cause?

The ‘Show Cause’ process is a formal procedure that allows you to present your case as to why you should not be excluded, and should be allowed to continue your studies.

To do this, you need to submit your Show Cause Response by the date outlined in your email notification. Your Show Cause Response should outline the reasons for your unsatisfactory performance, the actions you have taken to improve your performance, and other relevant information.

Your Show Cause Response should address the following points:

Circumstances that impacted on your academic performance

Outline the reason/s why your academic performance was unsatisfactory. For example:

  • New or continuing health problems
  • Personal or financial problems
  • Time management issues
  • Difficulty writing or studying at a tertiary standard
  • Work commitments
The action/s you took to improve your academic performance when you were placed on Monitored Enrolment (MAP Stage 2)

How did you try to resolve the problems you had experienced? What steps did you take to ensure they do not affect your study in the future? Have you asked for help?

Your goal is to show that you have taken action to improve your academic performance. Provide clear examples. It is useful to refer back to your Academic Improvement Plan.

If you are permitted to continue studying, what actions will you take to improve your academic performance?

Reflect on what actions you have already taken to determine what worked and what didn't. Use this information to guide what further actions you would take in the future if your Show Cause is approved and you are permitted to continue studying.

Supporting documentation (if appropriate)

Depending on your situation (and who is aware of it), this could include a letter from your doctor or a statement from a family member or employer explaining your circumstances and how they have affected your study performance.

Where can I get help?

The Student Success team can provide general advice about the Show Cause process.

For assistance with preparing your response contact the Student Guild Advocacy Service.

If you would like to speak to a Counsellor about your personal circumstances contact Student Wellbeing.

USC Sydney or USC Melbourne students should contact your campus support representative. Their contact details are included in your Show Cause notification email.