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Professor gives student 0 for listing Australia as a country

Posted at 8:25 PM, Feb 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-11 20:25:44-05

MANCHESTER, NH (WMUR/Buzzfeed/CNN) - An adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University has been replaced after giving a student a failing grade because she classified Australia as a country for an assignment.

It all began with student Ashley Arnold, who shared her ordeal with the online site, Buzzfeed. The Idaho resident was completing her sociology degree online, tasked with an assignment to compare a foreign country with the U.S.

She chose Australia.

When she got her grade back, it was a zero. The professor argued Australia was not a real country, but a continent.

Australia is a country, but it's also a continent. But why is it both? Its reasoning can be a head-scratcher.

Australia, as a continent, includes Tasmania, New Guinea, Seram, Timor and the Commonwealth of Australia. Why? Because they all share the same tectonic plates.

Arnold shared links to facts like these in an e-mail exchange with the professor.

She told Buzzfeed she also alerted SNHU because "she was worried other students might have been incorrectly graded by the professor."

SNHU released a statement saying the following:

"We deeply regret the interaction between our professor and our student, and have apologized to the student and refunded her for the class. Following an investigation, we have replaced the instructor."

As for Arnold, after review, her new final grade for the project: B+.

Copyright 2018 WMUR/Buzzfeed via CNN. All rights reserved.