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GSM London Reviews

Updated 6 September 2017
41 reviews

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Pros
  • The payout that you may receive from GSM London when they fire unjustifiably (in 8 reviews)

  • If the senior management are changed then there are opportunities for the business to achieve great things (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The place is a circus when looking at how senior management runs the place (in 8 reviews)

  • Being an employee at GSM London may sometimes feel criminal for this reason alone (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Challenging during a period of growth and change but with opportunities to contribute to shaping/developing outcomes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to be involved in the development initiatives of an organisation that not everyone has a chance to experience in their careers if they only work for established institutions that resist change and innovation often at all costs. Although increased bureaucracy comes with growth, there are still opportunities in a smaller organisation to be closer to and more involved in the decision-making processes than in a larger similar sector organisation. This means that greater personal professional development and achievement is possible more quickly for those that are comfortable working in a changing environment and up for new challenges.

    Cons

    Rapid growth and a high level of staff turnover have led in recent years to an inconsistency of approach to strategic decision making and resultant poor communications between senior level management and wider staff body. This makes it difficult to plan ahead or to be confident about the ability of staff to deliver business as usual without the fear of sudden business process changes being rolled out without consultation. With tight delivery timeframes, often in response to changes, it can be difficult to have confidence that ongoing good performance will be recognised by management and feel a sense of achievement from reaching goals when there is often a moving target.

    Advice to Management

    Prioritise developing a fit-for purpose communications strategy and associated functions across staff at all levels of the organisation. Much dissatisfaction due to lack of information or misunderstanding about senior management priorities and decision making could be avoided with greater transparency and basic communication about change. It would help to retain committed, high calibre staff who may otherwise leave with negative views unnecessarily, since there are good oportunities and successes to be gained by those who stay long enough.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "A place built on lies and only making money"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in Greenford, England
    Former Employee - Management in Greenford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Perfect place for brown nosers. It can be a fantastic place of education once it was before. they want to grow. ( but with an attitude of "yesterday" very quickly)

    Cons

    This college has become a place of get out of here quick for students and working staff alike. Most of the picture portraited by marketing department is manufactured by top management. They lie all way just to make money and bring anyone with holding a Student Loan. Just to give a small tiny example; back in 2013 they introduced new programmes called "Events Management" but this course was not designated by SLC yet, an internal email memo circulated by head management to all finance department staff members to what to say and answer any student whom wanted to study this programme. Students were told to lie SLC that they were studying someother programme after that school will validate their SLC to withdraw their fee funds and release their maintenance money.
    Just a tiny example what this college will do for money from taxpayers.
    This college is for profit only and nothing else.
    If you are working down the chain, you will have no value.. They will lie to your face blatantly that they care for you.
    Place is full of high paid contractors and problem fixers.
    GSM London do not trust their own staff and no formal training given. You are expected to know it all otherwise exit door is pointed that is unless if you are close to someone from upper management and talking their voice.
    Students are cheated out from their studies, Different levels of treatment to different types of student. For example; students from certain parts of the world (i.e Middleeast) are treated differently from others. They even manufacture attendance records for UKBA. They even print double Student ID cards to for them so that someother person will come and swipe instead. They (school) assign external people to do these students assignments and sit their exams. Management will go blind eye on all these just because they paid their fees in full.

    These are only small examples that are only scratching the surface.
    HR department of GSM London is the biggest joke in entire UK. HR is there to defend the top management and directors. Nothing is confidential, they will tell anything and everthing about you even if you told them not to, they will even talk about as it was a funny joke and story.
    You will not get promoted unless you are a brown noser. They will award your manager big bonuses but not to you.

    Advice to Management

    There are so many people left you and you are insisting that it is a good thing. Stop and look around whats going on. Train your managers and directors to be. They earn the highest salaries in London and yet do nothing but talk in meetings about facts & figures and yet not even capable of checking the validity of it by themselves. Employ peoples' person; not the one of those only says what you want to hear.


  3. Helpful (15)

    "Not a good company, neither a good place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    You get paid, like any other job.

    Cons

    Very poorly run company. Management, doesn't know the first thing about running a business. (The irony)

    Employee motivation is unheard of: It feels like the company is working against you not with you.

    The organization is extremely cheap: Building looks like it’s on the verge of collapsing

    Out of date technology

    No security

    No opportunities for students, I don’t necessarily agree with the review that states students go on to start promising careers. They are offered false hope.

    They don't value students/education; they just see numbers and pound signs. Penny pinching company!

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are dissatisfied, and so are customers……….. I mean students.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    "Fraudulent and Unethical"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    Apparently all the fake reviews

    Cons

    Poor leadership, management is unreasonable in expectations placed upon their employees, employees are unappreciated, students are not happy and receive poor education while executives get rich off tax payers money, this school is a scam and a awful place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to all your fake reviews, your company is 1/5 stars, very poor management skills - unhappy employees


  6. Helpful (18)

    "Corporate machine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lecturer
    Former Employee - Lecturer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A lot reviews here seem to be from administrative / management staff so a lecturer's view for anyone thinking of joining the academic side... Students are not as bad as some of the reviews make it out! The first year students are not great as there are virtually no entry qualifications but the second and third year one are far better. On the final year in particular you do come across good students and that makes it worthwhile to persist - most decent lecturing staff are staying on only for loyalty for students who do get a raw deal from GSM otherwise (as outlined by other reviewers.

    The teaching teams by and large have been dedicated and good - with some notable exceptions. Most of the teaching staff care about the students BUT... Recently, the institution has made it difficult for better lecturers to stay as hours are all over the place so many are leaving/ been sacked. There are many who are trying to fight the corporate machine for the best interest of the students but they are increasingly fighting a losing battle.

    Cons

    The senior management is completely out of touch with students & staff and working for short term profit no matter the human cost. A lot of lip service on widening participation etc but all for show and they only interested in minimizing the costs which has a crippling effect on teaching & learning.

    No job security - people are fired as soon as they cross the senior management (you can be a crap lecturer and be kept on for decades though). At the start of this year, academic staff costs were slashed; loads of sessionals were let go and permanent staff made to cover for their teaching - regardless of their availability or subject areas. Permanent staff are completely overwhelmed with teaching and ridiculous level of administrative tasks. More than one lecturer have had a breakdown and left this year.

    Whilst you might want to maintain academic integrity, the institution doesn't. Any failed off or suspended student who appeals will be re-enrolled, reported plagiarism cases are brushed aside etc. They have introduced things like take home exams (to be submitted without turnitin / plagiarism checks) to ensure students pass from first to second year, regardless of their real ability.

    There is no support for staff who are struggling, and the human resources is only a mouth piece for the senior management.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending you care about anything other than short term profit / your bonuses. At least then maybe staff would rate you higher for honesty.
    Hire senior management who are actually academics or know what they doing- the current ones sure as hell don't and their interests or knowledge have nothing to do with HE.


  7. Helpful (21)

    "Students setup to fail; Staff are treated like animals; GSM London - aka. "The Black Hole" STAY CLEAR!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    1. A minority of very talented individuals (have been employed by sheer dumb luck)
    2. Senior management/Exec are highly paid, well above the average salary bands, if you’re a director you will be rolling in the cash, regardless of ability or experience
    3. Riots and fights often break out among students on Campus, this can be entertaining and helps to pass the time, police are often called onsite this only adds to the drama
    4. That is it! Seriously there are no other benefits…

    Cons

    1. Students are cheated out of money, time and education, teaching is poor, facilities are poor, student pass rate is very very poor. There has been a major under investment in basic student facilities; this company is still stuck in the 1980’s, yet they charge in-line with top end Universities. I am amazed!!
    2. Entry requirements seem to be non-existent, the policy seems to be to recruit students regardless of qualification or ability, I witnessed a student applying for an undergraduate course, this student was barely able to read or write in English yet he was asked to complete a form and was accepted onto the course (later withdrawn). Of course GSM's entire income is from SLC funding so the calibre of the student was not a issue.
    3. Last summer when the air conditioning broke down (for weeks) the Provost emailed all staff/students advising them to buy a mini fan and keep it at their desk to keep cool, all staff were also explicitly advised to wear ”loose and light clothing” Instead of paying to get the issue fixed, Loose clothing? is this even allowed?! surely the answer is to install air conditioning or get it fixed? Instead the electricity company were held responsible, yet the incumbent had bought herself a £500 Dyson blade-less tower fan paid for by the students or SLC rather!! Amazing!
    4. The Company seriously lacks leadership, there appears to be a constant power struggle internally particularly within the Executive team; all want control, all have little or no experience in HE, in fact the current lacking leader has been running pubs and bowling alleys for the last x years, i'm sure this will be highly relevant as both industries are the same....NOT!
    5. GSM London currently has no business strategy or vision, their sole objective is to make money by mass recruiting students – as opposed to producing advocates.
    6. All employees have to work a compulsory 40 hour week, regardless of salary band. Most often you are working extra hours due to lack of appropriate resourcing.
    7. Student experience is not valued by this institution; their philosophy is simply to take money from students or rather the Student loans company.
    8. Admin & support staff are at the bottom of the chain, undervalued, underpaid, overworked & often treated with lack of respect or consideration (worse than animals).
    9. HR is poor, they solely exist to look after the executive board and the company’s interests as opposed to the well-being of employees. Staff retention rate is a real issue. There is no staff training.
    10. No flex or benefits for staff. Extra hours demanded with no remuneration to staff.
    11. There are some very unsavory characters at GSM London, so be careful if you plan to study or work here. This includes students and staff. Very high probability of seeing a fight break out on campus, luckily the police station is across the road and they are often called - can be very comedic at times although very disturbing on the whole.
    12. There is no access for disabled students to floors above ground level, (at the main campus) the current lift does not conform to regulatory standards, this is illegal. Spend the money & sort it out. Why discriminate against disabled individuals?

    Advice to Management

    1. Please carefully read all the points above, this review is intended as constructive criticism to help you improve the business; stop brushing this key issues under the carpet, do something!!
    2. Look after your staff, value your students! Why not treat them with respect and common courtesy? This is free and won’t cost anything!
    3. Stop cheating students, it will lead to the downfall of the company, no individual or institution will continually get away with mistreating and cheating other people. This is wrong and immoral!
    4. Increase entry qualifications for students, of course you will lose the income from forever repeating students but this is unethical anyway! Otherwise no potential buyer is going to come near the place.
    5. Stop employing highly paid directors and contractors, instead invest money in student services, better facilities for students, support staff & technology, these are key! Your students are your assets it should all be about the student experience not filling your own pockets or company shares!!!
    6. Improve the security in your study centers and campuses, staff & students often feel threatened and generally not safe, there is also a high degree of theft – raising entry requirements would probably fix this as well


  8. Helpful (19)

    "Unethical Soul Destroyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Bursar in London, England
    Former Employee - Assistant Bursar in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will quite often be able to watch fight between students, staff and sometimes a fight between student and staff. In my four and a half years with the company, I witnessed them all. Those were the best days. Non-eventful days would usually consist of death threats, loss of student grades, incorrect qualifications being awarded, sexual harassment from heads of departments, fake qualifications, fake passports, visits from the police etc.

    Cons

    I see the main issue with GSM as being their entry requirements. They will scrape the barrel just to get numbers through the door and keep the investors happy. This results in a very poor quality of student (academically and, in the main, personally) which has knock on effects when it comes to dealing with the problems inherent with that. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if GSM had the policies in place to actually withdraw students who fail their first year, but with the three enrollment periods and various methods available to undertake a course (full time, part time, accelerated, extended, year zero etc.), GSM just aren't prepared. I calculated that the first enrollment period I was involved with, only 10% of the student graduated on time. I monitored it throughout my time there and, despite the huge sums of money pumped into the company, there was no improvement in that figure. That's awful, and it can ruin students' lives. They are encouraged to enroll and commit to a course that we all know they aren't going to be able to complete. This results in students being out of pocket between £3K-£28000. I've seen it first hand and this is why we have most of the problems I've mentioned above.

    To try and counter the issue, GSM have put in about 20 layers of management. There are, honestly, about 3 managers for every ten members of staff. This means that you can work your bum off all year and the same benefits as someone who does the bare minimum because any form of praise has to go through about five lines of management before it gets to a genuine decision maker. I feel sorry for a lot of the new staff who come in with hope and ambition because this really isn't the place for them. I watched souls get destroyed in that place. It's almost as if the directors have got it in for their staff. Working here's a no-win situation for about 99% of staff. Training? Forget it. Any form of staff development? What would be the point in that, ey?

    Advice to Management

    Put some money into the ground level staff so that they actually want the company to succeed. Increase entry qualifications so that you don't just have a student for one semester and keep them for the duration of their degree because they can actually understand it. 100 1st term failing students = £150,000 vs 20 students completing their degree = £360,000. It's all about retention, not enrollment figures. Economics.


  9. Helpful (19)

    "The ULTIMATE low-esteem workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - First Semester Engagement Officer in London, England
    Former Employee - First Semester Engagement Officer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    At GSM, you can prematurely get promoted (as is the case with a lot of managers, the majority of whom are unable to manage adequately). So its essentially a 'stepping-stone' workplace that, whilst seeking the stepping-stone will subject you to much abuse, disrespect and loss of credibility with both internal (students) and external stakeholders.... this pro is a con!

    There are some decent people here - but isn't that true of every workplace!?

    Cons

    Morale is low amongst the Student Experience and Finance teams.
    Training will be promised, but hardly ever delivered. An spattering of thrown-together slides by an inept manager is as excuse for training.
    Leadership is poor - they promote 'yes' people who will subject their juniors to late deadlines and poorly organised work priorities.
    Lots of parties here; for which more emails go around in order to plan for that essential work such as giving students their timetables when they arrive.
    A lack of professional attitudes - come here if your every second word is a four-letter expletive starting with 'f' - you may fit right in. Also, if you are keen to walk around exposing tattoos on your boob.
    Micro-management amongst many teams leaves staff feeling miserable. The faces of the staff tell a story - people don't smile here or look worn down.
    The place is split between two campuses and managers are unable to manage their teams well when working from different locations. Greenwich is a hell-hole of chaos, and Greenford is boring and stuck-up.
    You will have functioning air-conditioning when it is Winter, and functioning radiators in the Summer. People faint here. Also, the lights regularly shut out due to an agreement with the landlord.

    Advice to Management

    Well done, you got yourselves a well-paying job. Time to possibly start pumping in some necessary funds to cost-centred areas such staff-welfare? Would you also scrutinise your management of the managers underneath you as they abuse their power. You may just notice that some of them pull-off coming in to work for just a few moments a week - and spend a lot of their work time planning their social lives.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "The Worst Employer in the industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    It helps you appreciate just how good many other employers are. After working here, Battersea Dogs home will seem like heaven.

    Cons

    Part-time sessional 'contract' casual staff are treated with contempt. Join GSM and work a zero hours contract ( but without a formal contract). Here is your timetable : 1 hour on Monday morning. 1 hour on Monday evening.....And the same for much of the rest of the week. Totalling your entire working-week gone. Totalling enough money to buy a cup of instant coffee. Take a job here if you want to walk the streets for hours as a semi-nomad.

    But apart from that, what is there to dislike ? Students abusing staff with impunity. Overseas Students abusing the whole Visa-factory business model. Police cars and ambulances outside the building on a regular basis. Students who are only there to get their dole and have zero interest in learning. 'Students' who cannot speak English. Students who are just out of Prison. Students with significant anti-social problems. Students who are in the bottom percentile for every academic and intellectual measure known to educationalists. Open and rampant homophobia, sexism, racism. 'Teachers' with little familiarity with their subject area. Students bullying the institution to get passed and/or higher marks.

    Every classroom is a free-for-all of mobile phones, latecomers, early leavers, students watching porn on laptops, bullying, students swiping multiple cards on the attendance registers and disappearing, students eating KFC buckets in class, students high on drink and drugs, religious fundamentalism etc etc. Use your imagination.

    Many staff members have very questionable basic Language and Numeracy skills. Including senior management.

    Advice to Management

    You will all be gone after the Tories lose power. Sovereign capital does contribute to the tories , does it not ?


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Fake company - Not worth giving your 100% to them."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    Pros can be counted on finger tips unlike Cons. Located in both ends of London with an extra study annex in central. Front end teams are loaded with great people.

    Cons

    Where should i start from...Well, it is an investment group and they actually act like one. Favoritism lead to extra unnecessary hiring which resulted in an incompetent higher & middle management. A lot of current/ex employees can give hundreds of examples to prove it. For e.g. There is a facilities/project manager whose job is to ensure the people in the buildings are working/studying safely. To begin with...toilets are worst then a low class public place toilet, people had to work with heating in whole winters and the list goes on.

    HR & Finance teams are typical examples of people working with the most laid back attitude and managed by incompetent managers. For e.g. whole finance team take lunches together in one go leaving absolutely no one behind to deal with student inquiries. HR's primary role suppose to ensure all individuals matter dealt with confidentiality but there are tens of sensitive documents that got leaked resulted in panics.

    Student Services team is a joke, a simple joke. This is the worst department in the organisation filled with non-serious people with irresponsible casual attitude towards students. There are thousands of complaints against them but nothing is done to improve even a single percent over the years. For e.g. Timetabling is an issue they are trying to sort out for past 4 years but yet students get their timetables 2/3 weeks after their classes commence. A lot of people have evidenced many physical fights between staff and students during especially during exams.

    Recruitment is the team they train well on how to manipulate student thoughts and decisions just to meet their targets because there are financial incentives against targets. They do not advise on courses but sell.

    The proof of all above is simple if anyone interested. Simply look at their staff retention rate. I know people there who left jobs without even securing the next.

    Advice to Management

    READ THE REVIEWS & OPEN YOUR MIND !!!

    Be honest and stop pretending that you put students first....No you don't !
    There are people who are currently working and have worked for gsm, who can prove the above statement with EVIDENCE !!!
    Stop threatening your staff on under performance but support them with more training to improve. Stop honey-potting each other so that directors can work and produce results.
    Last but not the least...when hire new employees at any level, double check their references from previous jobs. If someone is sacked from previous job their must be a reason !!!


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