BEING unable to focus in a mixed-gender environment was just one of the “ridiculous” excuses given by students expelled by Bahrain University for flunking their first semester.
A total of 160 first-year students, who were expelled because their Grade Point Average (GPA) was below one, are due to find out today if their appeals have been successful.
It has emerged more than half of the appeals were lodged by students from Saudi Arabia and Jordan, some of whom used the excuse that it was their first time in a mixed classroom.
Others blamed the “change in scenery” for completely fluffing their first semester.
“Some of the appeals we received came with ridiculous excuses, such as students claiming it was the first time they interacted in a co-education environment,” revealed academic programmes and graduate studies vice-president Dr Waheeb Alnaser.
“Others also said the change in scenery made it difficult to achieve the required GPA.”
The GDN reported last week that first-year students whose GPA was below one had been kicked out of their classes.
This prompted an angry reaction on social media and claims that as many as 400 students had been affected by the decision.
However, 160 under-achievers appealed the decision after a special committee was formed to review each case.
The maximum GPA is four and students who previously scored below one in their first semester received warnings before being expelled.
However, a change in the rules this year – which affected only first-year students – meant they were automatically unable to continue their studies.
Some of those affected initially claimed they were unaware of the rule change, but Dr Alnaser told the GDN only a small fraction used that as an excuse for contesting their expulsion.
He earlier stated all students were told about the new GPA requirements when they enrolled – both on the electronic registration system and during orientation.
“Out of the 160 appeals that were lodged, only 10 to 12 per cent of the students claimed they were unaware of the new GPA requirements, while the rest were all aware of the rules,” he said.
He added that some of those with a GPA below one had simply neglected their studies, but acknowledged there were others who did present compelling reasons for their failure.
Dr Alnaser pledged the panel reviewing the expulsions would consider the legitimacy of each student’s appeal, but would also enforce rules and preserve the university’s integrity – suggesting there will be no way back for at least some of those kicked out.
The new rules, which apply to students who enrolled in 2017, also state those with a GPA of between one and two receive two warnings – after which they will also be expelled if they are not able to raise their GPA above two.