Guide to showing good cause

In your 'show cause' letter it is your responsibility to provide your faculty with sufficient evidence to show that your academic progression difficulties were due to circumstances beyond your reasonable control.

Such circumstances may include serious ill health or misadventure, but does not include demands of employers, employment pressure or time devoted to non-University activities – unless they are connected to serious ill health or misadventure.

In deciding whether or not you have shown good cause, your faculty may take into account relevant aspects of your academic record in other courses or units of study at the University (or at other institutions), provided that you present this information to your faculty.

The University recognises that everyone’s circumstances are different. But at the very least your 'show cause' letter should outline:

  • the circumstances which have had a negative impact on your studies;
  • how those circumstances have impacted your studies and
  • how you have resolved or are resolving the circumstances to ensure they do not continue to impact your studies.

You may wish to include supporting documentation with your good cause letter. Types of supporting documentation may include:

  • a professional practitioner certificate outlining medical issues impacting upon you
  • a statutory declaration
  • police reports and/or court summons
  • other documentation that attests to your misadventure/health-related problems or circumstances beyond your reasonable control that impacted your academic performance.

Please keep in mind that if you are required to 'show cause' more than once, your subsequent 'show cause' letters should indicate whether previously identified factors affecting your academic progression have recurred, including reasons why previous strategies to address these factors have not been effective. If you faculty is not satisfied that your recurring issues are being adequately addressed and considers that obstacles to your academic progress have not been overcome, the faculty has a responsibility to exclude you.