Home>ChatGPT: Sciences Po Implements Rules and Opens up Discussion About AI in Higher Education


ChatGPT: Sciences Po Implements Rules and Opens up Discussion About AI in Higher Education

An artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbot, ChatGPT, was made available to the general public by the company Open AI in November 2022. The rise of ChatGPT, and AI on a larger level, raises important questions for education and research agents worldwide regarding teaching methods and the way we acquire knowledge. Sciences Po, a selective research university of international standing who is at the forefront of the greatest challenges of our modern world, takes at heart its role of opening up discussion around the subjects driving public debate.

Since it was founded more than 150 years ago, Sciences Po has been shaping enlightened citizens, independent managers by valuing critical thinking, intellectual honesty and the diversity of content. ChatGPT is a major innovation that is part of our societies’ digital revolution. Following Mathias Vicherat’s impulse, we are placing this challenge at the core of our academic and research work at Sciences Po. It is of the utmost importance for an institution that is committed to maintaining the quality and integrity of its programmes and degrees to regulate the use of this tool.

Sergei Guriev, Provost of Sciences Po

A student use of ChatGPT that must comply with the anti-plagiarism charter

At Sciences Po, the framework that governs intellectual honesty is composed of articles 12 and 13 of the academic rules and regulations and the anti-plagiarism regulation. This framework is the exclusive foundation for all individual and collective, written and oral academic work.

Sergei Guriev, Provost, announced on behalf of Sciences Po that students who use ChatGPT or any other AI-based tool should mention it explicitly, just like any external source. Non-compliance with mentioning the AI as a source will be penalized.

This ban on using ChatGPT applies to a specific situation: the production of written or oral evaluations. This preventive communication clarifies Sciences Po's official position and informs all students and teachers. In other words, it is forbidden for Sciences Po students to submit work for grading or evaluation that has been completed by someone other than themselves.

Educational framework by teachers for the use of AI

Since its inception, Sciences Po has always been at the forefront of educational innovation. The emergence of AI is no exception and calls for rethinking the way of teaching, researching, and transmitting.

Thus, the institution is already thinking about the appropriate way  to offer teaching modalities taking into account the ChatGPT tool at three levels:

  • Rethinking with teachers the evaluation criteria in favor of competency evaluation – in the face of a complex situation, by developing personal reflexive work and a thorough critical analysis – rather than a knowledge verification.
  • Including AI tools in the proposed exercises, for example, by asking students to test the tool's limits by correcting its errors, verifying its bibliography, or critically examining its contribution.
  • Offering dedicated courses on these tools, so that students are aware of their potential and limitations (for example non-compliance with GDPR).

Understanding global transformations to feed public debate

As a player in the public arena, the institution will participate in public debate and research on this technological upheaval, including with the McCourt Institute and the médialab.

Events will be organised to exchange ideas about this fundamental issue. This year, Sciences Po is launching the "Transforming Interdisciplinary Education and Research for Evolving Democracies" (TIERED) project, winner of the future investment program (PIA4), and will offer conferences and round tables on the future of teaching and research in an ecosystem where AI is increasingly important.

A network led by Sciences Po and its Institut des compétences et de l’innovation (institute of skills and innovation) will provide active monitoring on this issue in order to create educational guides and support materials that could be shared under a creative commons license.

Sciences Po as a whole is ready to take on this new technological challenge.


(credits: Shutterstock)