Southern New Hampshire University professor replaced after arguing Australia isn't a country

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Ashley Arnold had to write a paper comparing a social norm in the USA and another country, and chose social media use in Australia.

Southern New Hampshire University has apologized to a student who failed an assignment because her professor insisted Australia was a continent, not a country. But thanks to a viral boost from Buzzfeed, the world now knows about Arnold's recent go-round with a professor over the status of Australia, and her final grade, a B+. She told Arnold that the "error made it almost impossible" for her to have accurately completed the assignment. "Research is like dominoes, if you accidentally knock over one piece the entire set will also fall", the lecturer wrote to the student. Southern New Hampshire University has said it has investigated the incident and has since replaced the professor in question.

"At first, I thought it was a joke", Arnold Buzzfeed News.

The professor responded that she would review the assignment after conducting some "independent research". "With her education levels, her expertise, who wouldn't know Australia is a country? If she's hesitating or questioning that, why wouldn't she just Google that herself?"

The university was however happy to apologise and refunded Ms Arnold the $1000 she spent on the course, a spokesperson saying they're well aware of the fact Australia is both a country and a continent. "Australia is a continent; it is not a country", she reportedly wrote.

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'I learned I can advocate for myself successfully even in the face of opposition brought on by a stubborn professor with a PhD, ' Ms Arnold said of the freakish experience.

"Following an investigation, we have replaced the instructor as we strive to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in educating our students", Keane said in an email. When she realized it was real, she wrote an email to the professor, attempting to persuade her that Australia was in fact a country. But the lecturer still provided a warning for her.

SNHU has since apologised to Arnold.

The professor argued Australia was not a real country, but a continent. It posted on Twitter that it would reimburse the student's tuition for the course.

It added the educational institution understands Australian geography, and wished athletes from Australia good luck in the Olympic Games.