Vice-dean: “We are integrating artificial intelligence into future education”

Aarhus University (AU) has now given the green light for students to use generative artificial intelligence (GAI). "It is a natural step if our education is to keep up with the times," says Lise Wogensen Bach, who is the vice-dean for education at Health.

Towards the summer of 2024, it is allowed for students to use GAI for bachelor projects, theses, and certain specifically designated exams.
Towards the summer of 2024, it is allowed for students to use GAI for bachelor projects, theses, and certain specifically designated exams. Photo: Generated with Adobe Firefly.

Words like AI, ChatGPT, and prompts have been on everyone's lips in recent years as a result of the artificial intelligence advance. At AU, it was quickly realized that there was a need to actively engage with the new technology.

Since the fall of 2022, a working group at Aarhus University with members from all faculties has carefully considered how generative artificial intelligence (GAI) can be integrated in a way that still maintains the high academic standard of our educations.

Based on the recommendations from the working group, the university is preparing to embrace artificial intelligence, and students can use the tools from this semester in connection with their bachelor project, thesis, and master's dissertations, i.e., final exams.

"We cannot just close our eyes and pretend that the tool does not exist. But it requires a major change in the way we formulate our exam questions and organize exams and teaching. It can be somewhat compared to when we went from slide rules to calculators," says Lise Wogensen Bach.

Special conditions for students in medicine and dentistry

Towards the summer of 2024, it is allowed for students to use GAI for bachelor projects, theses, and certain specifically designated exams.

At Health, it has been decided for the educations in medicine and dentistry that both the bachelor project and the master's thesis are initially exempted from the use of GAI, as the exams are already underway, are smaller, and not final. From the winter of 2024/25, it shall be allowed to use GAI at all exams unless explicitly stated otherwise in the course description.

Lise Wogensen Bach emphasizes that the new frameworks are just the first step on the way in the integration of GAI into future educations at AU. "We are continuously working to strike the balance between maintaining academic independence and integrity while navigating the new digital era," she says.

We must properly prepare both teachers and students

Lise Wogensen Bach sees the inclusion of artificial intelligence in AU’s educations as a natural and potentially valuable development for the future academic world.

"We could have chosen to pull the handbrake and wait. But the development when it comes to GAI is moving very fast, and we know that many students are already using the tools extensively. Therefore, we would rather allow the use of GAI where it makes sense, and trust that the students can handle the tools sensibly. This also means that students must account for how the tools have been used," she says.

She believes that artificial intelligence in Health's educations is here to stay. "Some places in the world have gone back to using paper and pencil to ensure that students do not use tools like ChatGPT, but is that really where we want to go? Our students, for example, are going into the healthcare sector, where artificial intelligence is increasingly being used. Shouldn't they learn these tools properly and be able to critically engage with them before being sent out into the world?" she says.

Integrating GAI into the university's educations also requires that teachers are properly prepared, points out Lise Wogensen Bach.

"CED offers courses and workshops. There you can get help with teaching, guidance, and formulation of exam questions that take into account that GAI is now part of everyday life. But we are far from the goal, and the big dilemma is, how do we assess the individual's effort when GAI is part of the equation? This will be an important part of the coming academic discussions in the professional communities. CED does not have tailor-made solutions for the individual professional communities but can initiate the necessary discussions in teaching or course teams so we all continuously become wiser on the use of GAI," she says.


Vice-Dean of education, DMSci Lise Wogensen Bach
Aarhus University, The Dean's Office, Health
Phone: 25 48 85 22