Higher Education’s Generative Artificial Intelligence Paradox: The Meaning of Chatbot Mania


  • Dr. Jürgen Rudolph Kaplan Singapore, Singapore
  • Dr. Mohamed Fadhil bin Mohamed Ismail Kaplan Singapore, Singapore
  • Dr. Stefan Popenici Charles Darwin University, Australia




artificial intelligence, Chatbot, ChatGPT, conversational agents, GenAI, higher education, privacy, sustainability


Higher education is currently under a significant transformation due to the emergence of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technologies, the hype surrounding GenAI and the increasing influence of educational technology business groups over tertiary education. This commentary, prepared for the Special Issue of the Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice (JUTLP) on “Enhancing student engagement using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots,” delves into the complex landscape of opportunities and threats that AI chatbots, including ChatGPT, introduce to the realm of higher education. We argue that while GenAI offers promise in enhancing pedagogy, research, administration, and student support, concerns around academic integrity, labour displacement, embedded biases, environmental sustainability, increased commercialisation, and regulatory gaps necessitate a critical approach. Our commentary advocates for the development of critical AI literacy among educators and students, emphasising the necessity to foster an environment of responsible innovation and informed use of AI. We posit that the successful integration of AI in higher education must be grounded in the principles of ethics, equity, and the prioritisation of educational aims and human values. By offering a critical and nuanced exploration of these issues, our commentary aims to contribute to the ongoing discourse on how higher education institutions can navigate the rise of GenAI, ensuring that technological advancements benefit all stakeholders while upholding core academic values.


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Author Biographies

  • Dr. Jürgen Rudolph, Kaplan Singapore, Singapore

    Jürgen Rudolph is presently Director of Research & Learning Innovation at Kaplan Singapore. He is also Editor-in-chief of the open-access Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching. Jürgen has four postgraduate degrees; PhD qualifications from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany); an MBA from the University of Louisville (Kentucky, USA); and an M.Ed. from University of Adelaide (Australia). Jürgen has 30 years of Higher Education teaching experience and has taught a wide variety of subjects, ranging from Knowledge Management to Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous journal articles, and he is the author/co-editor of five books. His most recent book "Teaching well" is co-authored with Stephen Brookfield and Shannon Tan and was published by Routledge in 2023.

  • Dr. Mohamed Fadhil bin Mohamed Ismail, Kaplan Singapore, Singapore

    Dr Mohamed Fadhil is a multi-faceted professional with many years of experience in research, higher education and the professional training industry. He has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Adelaide and has undertaken research work with the Institute for Adult Learning Singapore and Kaplan Higher Education Singapore. His research interests are: adult education, organisational sensemaking, neuroscience and mental health, appreciative and wellbeing studies, human flourishing and restorative justice in education. He is a passionate educator and teaches qualitative research methods, positive psychology, principles of management and organizational behaviour at Kaplan Higher Education Singapore. At the same time, Mohamed Fadhil is involved in the professional training industry as an adult educator conducting programs in emotional intelligence, digital literacy and workplace communication. In the last 15 years, Mohamed Fadhil has successfully worked with both adults and youths of various nationalities and backgrounds in his teaching and research career.

  • Dr. Stefan Popenici, Charles Darwin University, Australia

    Dr Stefan Popenici is a public speaker and academic with over 25 years of experience in teaching, research, and leadership in higher education with universities in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Australia. He was also a Senior Advisor of the Minister of Education in Romania on educational reform and research, a Senior consultant of the President of De La Salle University Philippines on research and internationalisation, and a member of various boards and think tanks. Stefan is a recipient of prestigious awards and scholarships. For example, the President of Romania awarded Stefan with a knighthood, the Order ‘Merit of Education’. His research is focused on the impact of artificial intelligence in teaching and learning, imagination and creativity in education, education futures and change in higher education. His latest book, recently published by Routledge, is titled Artificial Intelligence and Learning Futures. Critical Narratives of Technology and Imagination in Higher Education.




Data Availability Statement

This study is conceptual and has no data to present.

How to Cite

Higher Education’s Generative Artificial Intelligence Paradox: The Meaning of Chatbot Mania. (2024). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 21(06). https://doi.org/10.53761/54fs5e77