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University Professor Apologizes for Saying Australia is ‘Not a Country’

Southern New Hampshire University professor insisted Australia was a continent, not a country.

A student at Southern New Hampshire University failed an assignment because her professor insisted Australia was a continent, not a country. The university has apologized to the student and replaced the instructor. They are also reimbursing the student’s tuition for the course.

Ashley Arnold is completing a sociology degree online. She filed a report with the university when she received a failing grade on a project outline that was supposed to compare a social norm in the U.S. with that of another country. But her grading rubric had multiple zeros, all because the professor said, “Australia is a continent, not a country.” The professor told Arnold that the “error made it nearly impossible” for her to have accurately completed the assignment. Arnold told Buzzfeed that she thought it was a joke at first but when she realized it was real, sent her professor an email to try and prove that Australia was, in fact, a country. Eventually, the professor said, “Thank you for this web address. After I do some independent research on the continent/country issue I will review your paper.” She ended up giving Arnold a B-plus and acknowledged that she had a “misunderstanding about the difference between Australia as a country and a continent.” However, she did not apologize. She did write to Arnold and warned her to “make sure the date, the facts, and the information you provide in your report is about Australia the country and not Australia the continent.” The University’s apology included a note to their “friends in Australia,” saying, “we know that you are a country & a continent, best of luck in the Olympic games!”

Read the full story at The Chronicle of Higher Education