AI for Good blog

What impact is AI having on higher education?

Artificial Intelligence | Education

by Jervise Penton


As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve and become more available to the public than ever before, it’s influencing many areas of our lives. From assisting with daily tasks to speeding up business processes within multiple industries, the innovative technology of AI is reshaping the ways in which we work, live and learn.

But what effect is this having on higher education? There are a number of concerns when it comes to using AI both as an educator and a student, and it’s important to ensure to do so ethically and responsibly. But as the idea of harnessing AI to assist education is still in its infancy, there’s much to still be worked out. In this post, we take a closer look at how AI is currently impacting the education sector.


Virtual assistance

Students naturally require support in order to achieve their best grades, but universities can sometimes struggle to fund adequate teaching assistants. AI can help by providing virtual learning assistants, chatbots and virtual classrooms that can provide instant support and feedback both inside and outside of classroom hours.

Virtual support services utilise natural language processing (NLP) to answer student queries, provide explanations, offer real-time feedback and even facilitate discussions – helping students access teacher-student interactions any time they need it. Not only does this supplement traditional teaching methods, but it also gives time back to educators and boosts the accessibility of learning experiences, as students can join in online from anywhere in the world.

Chatbots specially designed to aid students in higher education can serve as valuable tools, offering information about admission, financial aid, course registration and also campus resources. With the ability to be accessed around the clock, and the globe, student support efficiency and accessibility is massively boosted with the help of AI.

Predictive analytics

Many businesses are already making good use of AI-driven analytics, but the power of these insights can greatly benefit the education sector also. By calculating trends based on historical data, AI can quickly produce surprisingly accurate data that can be used to predict student outcomes and identify areas that require improvement within a school’s administrative processes.

Using metrics such as engagement, attendance and past grades, AI can predict academic performance and student dropout rates. This can enable educators to identify at-risk students early on and offer interventions that could boost achievement and retention levels.

On a higher level, AI technologies are allowing higher education institutions to analyse vast amounts of data and uncover valuable insights into the infrastructure of their organisation. This can help drive forward improvements and identify where funding or investment would be best spent.

Content production

With the rise of AI tools such as Chat GPT, OpenAI, and Slidesgo, students can easily access software which can create templates and content which could be used to achieve their academic goals. Understandably, educators are weary of students using AI to help them complete their work, but attitudes of the students are drastically different. A study by Cryptopolitan found that 67% of the 1,000 students they spoke to said they used AI in some capacity within their academic assignments, whilst only 6% of educators interviewed felt positive about its usage. There’s a fine line between using AI tools to help present your own insights, and simply using them to write them for you.


Naturally, there are pros and cons when it comes to using AI in higher education. Ensuring we do so ethically is a major focus point for educators as we learn to incorporate AI into our learning systems and routines – so be sure to follow your school’s policies and respect their opinions on using these technologies within your work.

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