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York has investigated the most students for using ChatGPT out of all Russell Group unis

20 have been investigated and five have been found guilty


Since December 2022, 20 University of York students have been investigated on suspicion of using AI chat bots like ChatGPT to cheat on assessments. Five of these students have been found guilty, though many investigations are likely ongoing.

Figures obtained by The Tab have revealed that more than 40 per cent of UK universities have investigated students for using AI to cheat. York has investigated the most students out of the Russell Group universities.

The Uni of York wrote to students in March to make it clear that “use of generative AI in current assessments could constitute academic misconduct”.

Replies to freedom of information requests from 114 universities have shown that, nationally, almost 400 students have faced investigations for using AI chatbots in an assessed piece of work. At least 146 students have been found guilty, with many investigations still on going.

Out of these 114 universities, York had carried out the eighth most investigations, but had the highest number out of the Russell Group unis*. The University of Kent had the highest of any uni, with 47 investigations and 22 students found guilty. The full number of university students who have used ChatGPT to cheat, however, is likely to be even higher than these numbers suggest.

York students found guilty of using ChatGPT to cheat in assessments were given a mark of zero, or in some cases a mark cap of 29, and were required to attend an academic integrity tutorial. So far nationally, no student has been expelled for using ChatGPT.

In an email to students in March, the Uni of York warned students that “use of generative AI in online exams will be treated as cheating”. They also provided some tips for avoiding academic misconduct, including keeping “records of draft work and notes”, preparing to “explain your answer and how you produced it”, and, of course, avoiding the use of generative AI to produce or correct your assessments.

More recently, the Uni of York, alongside the rest of the Russell Group, announced new guidance for teaching students how they can use ChatGPT in their studies. Alongside this, the universities said they aimed to make students and staff “AI literate”.

A university spokesperson said: “These figures demonstrate that our guidance has been effective in helping identify, monitor, and review cases that staff and students are concerned about in relation to this technology.

“We also think it’s important, however, to harness advances in artificial intelligence in order to explore ways in which it can be used appropriately to make learning experiences more rewarding and relevant.

“We are also looking to review our current policies in line with the development of these new technologies.”

*Only 23 of the 24 Russell Group universities responded to The Tab’s freedom of information request

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