IU study: 34.9 percent of ChatGPT users in Germany use it as a learning aid

Representative survey by IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) shows how AI bots are used for learning


Representative survey by IU International University of Applied Sciences shows how AI bots are used for learning.

  • 40.7 percent of the respondents who use AI bots for learning use them to write texts for their studies; 29.5 percent use them to prepare for exams. 
  • 32.9 percent of all respondents use AI bots for work. 
  • 51.0 percent of the respondents can imagine more personal support from a special, AI-supported learning assistant over a longer period of time. 

Erfurt, 11 May 2023. According to the current short study “Learning with AI. Use of ChatGPT and the like for Learning.” by the IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU), a quarter of respondents (24.8 percent) have had experience with AI bots such as ChatGPT, Jasper Chat or Neuroflash. As the study shows, these tools are already quite popular among learners: more than a third of the respondents (34.9 percent) who use these AI bots use them for studying or learning. The learners use the AI bots primarily for research: 59.8 percent said they applied them for research or brainstorming. In addition, respondents who use these tools for learning stated "interest/curiosity" (49.8 percent) or "learning new skills" (47.5 percent) as reasons for use. 

A full 40.7 percent of the survey participants who use AI tools such as ChatGPT for learning use them to write texts for their studies. Just under a third (29.5 percent) use them to prepare for exams. 

More than half of AI bot users apply these tools to answer general questions (51.4 percent); other respondents use them for fun (47.9 percent). 

AI tools such as ChatGPT are also very popular as work assistants: 32.9 percent of respondents use them for work.

One in five experiences artificial intelligence in everyday learning 

According to the IU study, 21.5 percent of respondents have already consciously experienced AI in learning, however 25.3 percent are not sure whether AI was involved. 

Prof. Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya

Prof. Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya, Professor of Computer Science and Pro-Rector, Research and Transfer, at IU International University of Applied Sciences, says: 

“Artificial intelligence has been at work in the background for some time, whether in search engines, speech recognition or navigation systems. ChatGPT is the first successful attempt to establish an AI initially used only in science as a widely available and direct dialogue partner for humans. ChatGPT is seeing faster growth in the number of users than any other tool in the history of the internet. However, it takes time and familiarisation to use AI bots in a meaningful way that adds value. We have to learn how to shift from just using the bot to search for information to engaging in dialogue with it in order to work out answers together. New users may therefore be overwhelmed at first.” 

Personal support from special learning assistants meets broad approval

A digital learning assistant can support users at any time with questions about the learning material. It interacts with the student and adapts to their learning progress. 

More than half of those surveyed (51.0 percent) can imagine "personal support" in school/university or training by a learning assistant over a longer period of time . 

For 53.6 percent, the advantage of "flexibility in terms of time and space" is the most frequently cited benefit.

The second most frequently cited advantage by respondents was “easier research”, followed by “a lower inhibition threshold when asking questions” (40.8 percent). Also highly rated by a good third of the survey participants are the aspects of "more motivation through the playful learning experience" (30.2 percent) and "better understanding of contexts of related content" (29.8 percent). 

"ChatGPT already possesses amazing capabilities when it comes to finding consistent answers to problems in many fields, and it seems to know at least something about everything. But to some extent it is a universal tool and not specialised in one area. In order to meet current and future requirements for AI-supported learning, much more than domain-specific knowledge is needed, and learning behaviour should also be modelled. Users learn in a variety of ways. And the learning assistants of the near future offer the possibility of personalising learning through dialogue.” 

Learning assistant at IU: Syntea 

At IU International University of Applied Sciences, the learning assistant Syntea accompanies students on their individual learning journey. Syntea is an AI-driven teaching and learning assistant that is currently available to more than 10,000 IU students and will soon be made available to the entire IU student body. Syntea is designed to enable personalised interaction with students and improve their learning outcomes. 

In doing so, it takes into account the current state of knowledge and answers personal questions about the subject matter at any time. In this way, students receive around-the-clock support with their study questions and can thus learn even better at their personal learning pace and rhythm. 

IU is the only university in the world that uses a learning assistant in all English-language programmes. For more information about Syntea, please open this press release


For the short study “Learning with AI. Use of ChatGPT and the like for Learning.” by IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU), 1,205 participants in Germany aged 16 to 65 were surveyed representatively by age and gender between 21.02.2023 and 23.02.2023. The factsheet on the IU study is available here.


With over 100,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognised educational institution with its headquarters in Erfurt began operations in 2000 and is now represented in more than 35 German cities. Students from over 180 nations design their studies according to their needs: whether practice-integrated dual studies, flexible distance learning or individual “myStudium”, which combines online self-study and campus life. IU wants to give people worldwide access to personalised education for a fulfilled and self-determined life. In more than 150 German- and over 50 English-language study programmes in bachelor's, master's and MBA fields, IU teaches students key competencies relevant to the future. A digitally supported learning environment and the use of AI solutions help students to achieve optimal learning results and experiences. IU is one of the first universities in the world to have developed and deployed its own AI-supported learning buddy. IU cooperates with over 15,000 companies and supports them in the academic training of professionals. Partners include Motel One, Vodafone, AWO and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: iu.org