US college student fails assignment due to professor's belief Australia is not a country

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An Idaho woman failed a college assignment because her professor didn't believe Australia was a country.

Ashley Arnold, 27 was taking the course as distance learning for her sociology degree from Southern New Hampshire University, Buzzfeed reports.

She was supposed to compare a social norm in another country with the United States and she chose social media use in Australia.

However the professor failed her outright for the project, saying Ms Arnold did not correctly pick a country to compare the US to and instead chose a continent.

Australia is in fact the only place in the world to be both a country and a continent.

Ms Arnold told Buzzfeed she was shocked the professor had not checked whether she was wrong about Australia's status.

"If she's hesitating or questioning that, why wouldn't she just Google that herself?" she said.

However when she queried her grade, and provided a library resource confirming Australia is a country, the professor doubled down on her belief it is only a continent.

"Research is like dominoes, if you accidentally knock over one piece the entire set will also fall," the professor said.

"Australia is a continent; it is not a country. That error made it nearly impossible for you to accurately complete your week two research outline correctly."

Ms Arnold then sent the professor a link to the Australian government's "About Australia" page and the professor said she would do some "independent research" into whether Australia is a country or not.

Once that research was completed Ms Arnold quickly received an amended grade of B+ for the project, although the professor did not apologise for the error.

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.

Newshub.