Generative AI guidelines at South African universities

Several South African universities have published policies and guidelines on the use of generative AI

The university guidelines and policies cover teaching, learning and research. Most universities provide separate guidelines for staff and students, and usually include a list of use cases and as well as some cautions about risks.

This is the University of the Witwatersrand's guide for teaching and learning, and another for North West University. The University of Cape Town Staff Guide on Developing effective prompts for generative AI tools includes various Prompt Pattern Strategies, whether the pattern is based on Role Playing, Question Refinement, Flipped Interaction or others:

The University of Pretoria advice for students outlines some general principles for responsible use (e.g. Ensuring Data Privacy and Confidentiality), and then provides specific instructions (e.g. to deactivate model training and the storing of chat history in ChatGPT):

Most guidelines for students refer them to existing university policies, such as on plagiarism, which already provide the framework for how generative AI may be used. The University of Johannesburg (UJ) guidance for students encourages them to be Responsible, Informed, Transparent and Ethical (RITE):

For research, universities may develop specific policies or guidelines, similar to the University of Cape Town Senate Ethics in Research Committee (EiRC) Guidelines and recommendations for the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in research. It refers extensively to established values and existing documents, such as the Policy for Responsible Conduct of Research and the Authorship Practices Policy. And is supported by a Student Guide on the Ethical use of generative AI for research purposes. This guide includes an outline of use cases for generative AI according to the stage of research, along with concerns that may need to be addressed.

Publishers associated with universities as well as local journals have also implemented their own policies. This is the Generative Artificial Intelligence Policy of the South African Orthopaedic Journal. The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Press has introduced an Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI Policy.

In the wider region, the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) has issued a statement on ChatGPT and other AI tools. Globally, it is worthwhile looking at the OECD's study on the Emerging governance of generative AI in education, as well as the UNESCO Guidance for generative AI in education and research.