College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Academic Monitoring

The Academic Monitoring and exclusions Policy applies to all students registered in undergraduate degrees across all Colleges. An extract from the policy is included below for the information of students.

The Academic Monitoring and Exclusion Policy is based on a system of classifying student academic performance as “good academic standing”; “at risk” or “severely underperforming” with appropriate interventions and actions for each category. Every undergraduate student’s performance is assessed at the end of each semester and their status, based on their academic performance at the end of the semester or subsequent supplementary exams, is determined and reflected on the student administration system as “green”, “orange” or “red”.

The aim of this policy is to enable underperforming students to be identified early and offered academic, personal and careers counselling. Appropriate interventions and systems of support are expected to reduce dropout rates and exclusions and to improve throughputs and completion rates.

Specifically the implementation of this policy means that no academically underperforming student will be excluded from the university in their first year of study. However, it also means that if a student does not respond to support interventions and continues to underperform, s/he will be required to appeal for readmission to the same or a different College after three semesters at university. If readmitted and does not meet set probation requirement while on final probation, then the student will be excluded after four semesters and no further appeals allowed.

Appeals are first considered at College level (CEACOM). All unsuccessful appeals will be referred to a university wide committee (AEACOM) for final decision.

Students will finally be excluded from the university on account of poor academic performance after all other avenues have failed to restore their academic performance to the required level.

Exclusion holds for a minimum period of one year unless otherwise stipulated. Thereafter a student may apply for admission to the same or another College at UKZN if s/he is able to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a level of competence satisfactory to the relevant College or has resolved the personal circumstances that led to poor performance. Admission or readmission will be at the discretion of the College to which the student applies and according their admission requirements. Colleges will specify broad guidelines for what will be deemed satisfactory competence level for readmission.

Classification of Academic Performance

Good academic standing (Green)

New students who register for the first time and have not transferred from another College of the university are initially deemed to be of good academic standing and coded green. A student remains coded green provided s/he has passed at least 75% of the maximum expected credit load to date and also has passed 70% or more of the normal credit load this semester. These are regarded as acceptable performance levels; however optional counselling and support is available if requested.

At risk (Orange)

A student who is at risk is required to participate in a compulsory developmental programme including academic counselling, a possible modified curriculum as well as student counselling for personal, life-skills and/or career counselling.

A student may be deemed “at risk” when:

  • his/her performance is above the applicable minimum progression requirements for that qualification or College but is not at the level of “green”, that is, s/he has not passed 75% of the maximum expected credits to date;

  • fewer than 70% of the normal credit load has been passed in the current semester.

  • credits are below the applicable minimum progression requirements for that qualification or College but the student has been registered for 1 semester only, the student is placed on academic probation with specific and realistic conditions. Even if such a student is performing below the applicable minimum progression requirements s/he will remain at risk (orange) provided s/he continues to meet the set probation requirements which are reviewed each semester

Underperforming (Red)

A student will be coded red when his/her performance falls below the applicable minimum progression requirements for that qualification or College and s/he has been registered for 2 semesters or more. The first time a student becomes “red” s/he is placed on strict academic probation. After compulsory academic and personal or career counselling s/he may be permitted to continue in the same qualification or may be advised to redirect to another qualification in the same or another College.

A student will become “red” for a second time if s/he does not achieve the probation conditions set in the previous semester or if, after improving performance for a period, the student again drops below the required levels. In this case, the student must appeal to be readmitted to the same or a different qualification or College. If a student is readmitted following a successful appeal, s/he is placed on final probation with specific conditions to be met and continued academic support.

If a student who was severely underperforming (“red”) responds to interventions, achieves probation requirements and eventually works back to good academic standing (“green”), s/he will be deemed to be rehabilitated and the previous period as “red” will not be considered should s/he subsequently lapse.

If a student does not respond to such interventions and s/he continues to underperform s/he must appeal for readmission and may or may not be readmitted on final probation. If readmitted and still does not respond to interventions while on final probation the student will be excluded. No further appeals are allowed.

Students who transfer between qualifications carry their history and academic status with them. Students will normally only be accepted into a new qualification if they are able to complete the new degree in the maximum time permitted for this degree, which includes the semesters they have already spent at UKZN and for which they may have generated credits towards the new degree.