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GSM London Reviews

Updated 8 February 2018
49 reviews

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

  • Great place to work and develop career (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Some of the Senior Management really need to stop bullying their staff (in 10 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (13)

    "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


  2. 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    Out of date technology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.


  3. Helpful (19)

    "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.


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  5. Helpful (22)

    "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


  6. Helpful (20)

    "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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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 ?


  9. Helpful (6)

    "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 !!!


  10. Helpful (19)

    "This place only exists just to skim Taxpayers money from Students Loan Company"

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

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent place if you like to spend your time in meeting rooms
    Good place for non education industry top executives to earn top money
    Good place if you like riots and fights.
    GSM London regardless how it looks on the papers, it is run by only 1 person so Just be in the good books with this person and do whatever he/she say, you will be on the money.

    Cons

    This place's sole existance is to make MONEY. The meetings are all about the money and how much can be made from students loan company. Students are not seen as people, they are just pound signs in their books.
    Only students from certain financial background are supported and taken care off. If you have money and can show the colour of it, they will bend over infront of you. They will even assign personal help ( secret - off the books) to get by with your assignments and exams.
    There are no entry requirements, if you can get Student Loan, thats all it is. They will even manufacture some good reports just to get you in and by pass the University of Plymouth.
    Every exam periods are always a chaos. Again if you are rich foreign origin, you do not need to worry. It is all sorted for those.
    HR department is a joke. It is non existance; no matter what it says on their company structure. HR department cannot move a finger without a say from that one person.
    GSM London only cares how and whom they can sell the business to. and quick. Because they know their graduating students are very few and failing/repeating student numbers are so high.
    Teaching is very poor. Teaching hours are only for their books and reports. Everything is to save money and being cut from teaching hours and instead students are given self taught hours.
    Attendance is a lie and manufactured for reporting purposes only, Student loan company is not being notified with drop-outs or withdrawals. Just to keep the loan money.
    New students coming from other universities are being forced to withdrawn from their previous university ( instead of a transfer or carry-on loan ) so that GSM London can get the full loan and students are being drawn into deeper debts.
    Students are never withdrawn, even they fail 3 times, they are hidden from the University of Plymouth and being allowed to carry-on as long as they provide student loan papers.
    There is no internal business communication. Staff members are presumed they know all.
    There is constant upper management bullying to ordinary staff members.
    Place is full of expensive contractors. These contractors have no idea that place is an education establishment and have no feel on the student life and their needs.
    Nobody leaves GSM London as being developed at their work and position. They are being let go by upper management with high exit pay out. No staff development.
    Place is full of managers, Staff members have no idea where to go if they come accross with problems. There are more layers in GSM London than an onion.
    Greenford Campus is in the middle of an industrial estate.Away from everthing. Good if you want to become a mechanic after graduating.

    Advice to Management

    Stop burrying yourselves into the reports and paperwork. Get out from your offices and be one with your staff. Get to know what they face everyday. Trust your staff not those reports and paperwoks which are full of lies.


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