On 07 June, the team of the Centre for Innovative Educational Technologies ‘PNU EcoSystem’ and the Department of Primary Education of the Faculty of Pedagogy of the University held an interactive training for educators in the form of Oxford Debates on the topic: ‘The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Pros and Cons’. The Rector, Professor Igor Tsependa, initiated the event.

The first Vice-Rector, Professor Valentyna Yakubiv, welcomed the audience and pointed out the relevance of improving the professional skills of professors, the use of innovations in educational practice, and the importance of involving students in various forms of academic activities, including Oxford debates, and inspired teamwork. Then the participants got acquainted with the British House of Commons tradition, the basic principles, and debate rules.

The Head of the event, Professor Olena Budnyk, introduced the topic for discussion after having divided the participants between the main speakers and the audience. During the long discussions, two teams – Proposal and Opposition – debated, defending their opinions on the declared hypothesis, expressing their arguments and counter-arguments about the feasibility of using AI in educational activities, priorities, challenges and threats of GPT chat, academic integrity, privacy, critical thinking, etc.

During the debate, experts – Professor Tetiana Kachak and Associate Professor Tetyana Blyznyuk organized a series of polls and summarized the results of the discussion between the two teams through qualitative and quantitative analysis. The chairman was supported by the secretary, Associate Professor Kateryna Fomin, who carefully informed the speakers about how much time they had to speak, recorded the time, and finally presented the participants with the AI’s results of solving the problem. The debate was held in a positive intellectual and emotional atmosphere that encouraged deep reflection. Representatives of the Faculties of Pedagogy, Philology, and Natural Sciences expressed their position on ‘Pros or Cons of AI in Higher Education’ in the most reasoned way.

The Opposition team won. According to the survey, professors’ opinions differed at the beginning and end of the debate on the feasibility, functions, and capabilities of AI in higher education. Participants received certificates of advanced training (6.0 academic hours).