The Russell Group, which represents 24 UK universities, has announced today [4 July 2023] that it will be shaping policy to determine how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used throughout its educational institutions to ensure students and staff are aware of both the opportunities and ethical responsibilities of using the technology.
Today’s statement was backed by the group’s 24 vice chancellors, and was reportedly developed in partnership with both AI and educational experts.
The five principles outlined in the statement are: supporting staff and students to develop ‘AI literacy’; equipping staff with tools and training to support students to use AI effectively and appropriately; adapting teaching and assessment to incorporate the ethical use of generative AI and support equal access; ensuring academic integrity is upheld; and working collaboratively with other institutions to share best practice as the technology and its uses evolve.
Dr Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russell Group, said: “AI breakthroughs are already changing the way we work and its crucial students get the new skills they need to build a fulfilling career. University staff also need support as they look at how AI can be used to enhance their teaching and help bring subjects to life.
“This is a rapidly developing field, and the risks and opportunities of these technologies are changing constantly. It’s in everyone’s interests that AI choices in education are taken on the basis of clearly understood values.”
Russell Group sees transformative opportunity provided by AI is huge and our universities are determined to grasp it.”
Concerns have been raised by educational institutions about generative AIs like ChatGPT, which can generate responses and essays based on the user’s prompt.
The statement follows the UK government’s launch of a consultation on the use of generative AI in education in England, which encompasses tools such as the mentioned ChatGPT, Google Bard, Claude and Midjourney.