Ethical implications of ChatGPT in higher education

A scoping review


  • Ming Li Osaka University
  • Ariunaa Enkhtur Osaka University
  • Fei Cheng Kyoto Univeristy
  • Beverley Anne Yamamoto Osaka University



ChatGPT, education, ethic, Generative Artificial Intelligence, higher education, scoping review


This scoping review explores the ethical challenges of using ChatGPT in education, focusing particularly on issues related to higher education. By reviewing recent academic articles written in English, Chinese, and Japanese, we aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of relevant research while identifying gaps for future considerations. Drawing on Arksey & O’Malley’s (2005) five-stage scoping review framework, we identified research questions, search terms, and conducted article search from four databases in the target three languages. Each article was reviewed by at least two researchers identifying main ethical issues of utilizing AI in education, particularly higher education. Our analysis of ethical issues followed the framework developed by DeepMind (Weiginger et al., 2021) to identify six main areas of ethical concern in Language Models. The majority of papers were concerned with misinformation harms (n=25) and/or human-computer interaction related harms (n=24). Given the rapid deployment of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), it is imperative for educators to conduct more empirical studies to develop sound ethical policies for the use of GAI.


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Author Biographies

Ariunaa Enkhtur, Osaka University

Ariunaa Enkhtur is a Specially Appointed Assistant Professor at the Center for Global Initiatives, Osaka University, Japan. Her research interests besides transnational higher education partnership include internationalization of higher education, academic mobility, teaching and learning, and scholarship programs.

Fei Cheng, Kyoto Univeristy

Fei Cheng received his Ph.D. in Informatics from NARA Institute of Science and Technology in 2018. His research interests include information extraction, numerical reasoning, large language models, and a broad range of natural language processing research. Currently, he is a program-specific assistant professor at Kyoto University.

Beverley Anne Yamamoto, Osaka University

Beverley Anne Yamamoto is Executive Vice President of International Affairs (education) while concurrently holding a professorship in the Graduate School of Human Sciences. Her background is in sociology and social policy. Beverley’s research interests include education, health, diversity and inclusion and ELSI. She is Principal Investigator, on the Japan side, for a joint project with the University of Oxford on stakeholder involvement in AI in health care.


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How to Cite

Li, M., Enkhtur, A., Cheng, F., & Yamamoto, B. A. (2024). Ethical implications of ChatGPT in higher education: A scoping review. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 13(1), 55–68.