Kaplan International Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Kaplan International Reviews

Updated 12 September 2018
152 reviews

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2.9
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David Jones
30 Ratings

152 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "No opportunities to enhance their professional development unless you are full time or part of their clique" (in 11 reviews)

  • "There are very few benefits available to part-time teachers" (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A welcoming place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kaplan International full-time

    Pros

    A real-life, earthy business going through change, like so many others do, but in a transparent way. Big on communication; big on getting people's ideas; big on moving things forward. A very inclusive place to work.

    Cons

    When necessary structural changes have taken place, there is of course a lot of hurt, and some people seem to enjoy feeding on that. Strange, really.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating; keep listening. Don't let things slip now that the larger moves are done: keep the faith.

    Kaplan International Response

    30 Jul 2018

    Thank you for taking the time to review Kaplan International English (KIE) as a place to work. I am happy to hear that you’re enjoying your work at KIE. I am particularly pleased to hear that you... More


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Poor management & too much friends favouritism"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Executive in London, England
    Current Employee - Marketing Executive in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kaplan International (More than a year)

    Pros

    international and very friendly staff

    Cons

    - too much friends favouritism, there's a group who will always be on the spotlight and get rewarded for the hard work done by others
    - poor management, as people get promoted to senior positions based on favouritism, there's a huge lack of proper management skills
    - this "mafia" is killing the company. KIE has a strong brand, a great product but struggles to succeed due to the wrong mindset of the "staff mafia"

    Advice to Management

    - Start monitoring performance and give the opportunity to the right, hard working members of staff.
    - Fire the latino mafia

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Xxx"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kaplan International full-time

    Pros

    The colleagues are a good mix if interesting and dedicated people

    Cons

    HO has made some pretty poor choices, laying off honest ad competent people to promote those who had complaints lodge against them and had proven themselves incompetent and dishonest. Not clear how they came up with those choices. Poor communication between ho and teachers. Always treated as unimportant. No bonuses, no reason to do all the work except their pride in their job.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to staff more and don't believe in everything principals tell you. Listen to staff a little down the line.

    Kaplan International Response

    9 May 2018

    Thank you for taking the time to provide the feedback in your Glassdoor employee review. As Chief Operating Officer for Kaplan International English (KIE), I hope to build a company culture in which... More


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Kaplan International English"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Kensington, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Kensington, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kaplan International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Diversity is the only real positive here

    Cons

    The CEO is beyond his time and depth and should be removed so that business can evolve.

    Advice to Management

    CEO needs to be replaced

    Kaplan International Response

    2 May 2018

    Thank you for your post. I regret that your time at Kaplan International was so negative.

    I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

    Warm regards,

    Dave (C.O.O.)


  5. Helpful (2)

    "I would do it all again"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kaplan International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Kaplan are very good at developing their employees. This company is a great place to start out and build a career.

    It's a really social place. I made some of my closest friends working at Kaplan and although it can be hard work, there's a real sense of pulling together in times of high-pressure. Having a few beers with your colleagues on a Friday is also encouraged.

    There are lots of opportunities to travel as well as opportunities to move between departments or different businesses within the Kaplan umbrella, if you want to expand your experience.

    The students are great to work with and provide lots of entertainment. Some of my best stories about working for Kaplan are those about students I worked with years ago and still remember with fondness.

    The company is good at evolving and change is commonplace. While this might not suit everyone, it means that they are constantly looking to improve their processes, service and working environment.

    Women are well represented in the management structure and in general it has a very diverse workforce.

    Overall, I have loved working at Kaplan and am really grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

    Cons

    Working at Kaplan is hard work. If you’re looking for a company where the routine is the same each day and is strictly 9-5; this isn’t it. The work is fast paced and varied and when it gets busy and as you gain more responsibility, you are expected to work longer than your contracted 7.5 hours a day.

    The company is going through a challenging time in the current economic and political climate. There is a strong commitment to improving communication, decentralising decision making and bringing the separate regions together to combine efforts.

    Advice to Management

    In my opinion, what the staff of Kaplan need now, more than anything, is to feel inspired (not intentionally trying to quote Jerry Maguire); they want to feel they can believe in what they are doing at work, that the leadership is just and sets an example and that the vision and message is consistent.

    Kaplan International Response

    8 Mar 2018

    Thank you for taking the time to review Kaplan International (KI) as a place to work. I am delighted to hear that you reflect positively on your time at KI. Your post touches on some of the best... More


  6. "Growth opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kaplan International full-time

    Pros

    Kaplan International provides growth opportunities with diverse courses such as English language training, Pathways for international students and online learning for adult educators. This provides great exposure to different areas of education and allow for specialisation in an area of my choice.

    Cons

    Startup culture took a back seat after a rapid growth period . This is coming back in the recent years.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up. You show great fortitude facing adverse environment in the English language business.

    Kaplan International Response

    14 Mar 2018

    Thank you for taking the time to review Kaplan International (KI) as a place to work. I am happy to hear that you're enjoying your work at KI. I am particularly pleased that you find KI to be an... More


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Old fashioned"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Higher Education Department in London, England
    Current Employee - Higher Education Department in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Kaplan International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Multicultural workforce, lots of different nationalities and languages
    - Good salary (though needed to outweigh below-average benefits)

    Cons

    - Feels a bit like working in the '90s. Senior managers sit in their own closed-off offices and only come out if they want something. Zero flexibility of hours and no working from home (unless you are senior manager in which case you seemingly come and go as you please) - very unusual in London in 2018. "Jeans only on Fridays"
    - Working culture is set by a select few who have been here forever, not open to new working practices that would make things more efficient. Very top-down approach.
    - Training/development very ad hoc, no formal offering
    - Offices in horrible location too far from shops, cafes, gyms - this would be ok if there were more flexibility but as it is we're all stuck here 8.5 hours a day!

    Advice to Management

    Consider modernising, look at other London companies to see what they offer staff in terms of development and benefits

    Kaplan International Response

    19 Apr 2018

    Thank you for your reflections on working at Kaplan International. We welcome all feedback and whilst positive feedback is always nice to hear, all feedback provides us with insights on how do we... More

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Ok if given reasonable hours"

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

    I worked at Kaplan International part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Manchester office is centrally located
    One of the best hourly rates of all language schools in the area

    Cons

    Staff are all employed on zero hours contracts, so there's no stability at work. One week you get asked to teach more than 30hours, the next there may not be work at all.
    They have their own custom-made materials, but unfortunately these are of poor quality and quite difficult to teach from. The books are full of spelling and grammatical errors and the topics and language points are arranged in a very haphazard, confusing way, so lots of extra work is needed to create useful lessons based on these materials.

    Advice to Management

    1. Employ people on proper contracts. People will look after you if you look after them and you can always keep teachers busy if student numbers are low. (eg by asking them to create resources or review materials)
    2. Review materials

    Kaplan International Response

    8 Mar 2018

    Thank you for taking the time to provide the feedback in your Glassdoor employee review. As Chief Operating Officer for Kaplan International English (KIE), I hope to build a company culture in which... More


  9. Helpful (4)

    "A once great place to work is now going downhill fast."

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

    I worked at Kaplan International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues that leave you with international friendships all over the world.

    Cons

    Roles are based around working lots of unpaid overtime, it was not possible to be successful in my role without working extra at home every night. When I brought this to the attention of my manager nothing was done. Many people do not speak up about this cause they fear they will get a bad reputation for complaining.
    Working 80 hours a week during peak season is just "the nature of the business" and management does not discourage it.
    The recent restructure of the business has put extreme pressure on school staff to keep the Kaplan brand up, even though services to students continue to get cut to save money.
    The HR department does not appear to do anything about staff members who have repeated complaints from various people over many years. These people have even progressed to high level management roles which caused multiple managers to quit.
    Student safety does not seem to be a concern for management, but those who have it as part of their role face the brunt of dealing with high student volumes and almost no support.
    You are more likely to get a promotion at Kaplan if you go to the bar with key managers of staff at when work finishes, versus staying late at your desk working hard. Many promotions seem to be based of friendships/favoritism/nepotism over honest work.
    Dedicated staff are not appreciated, and rarely receive praise for anything extra done. The only time you hear from senior management is when you make a mistake.
    Many people in Management roles seem to be very comfortable (coming late, leaving early, and taking long lunches) while other staff members are nearing their breaking point from an unbearable work load.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more then 2 hours in a school. Sit with Admin team members and see the amount of pressure they are under with the recent changes.

    Encourage HR Management to treat all complaints seriously, versus only serious options for formal grievances.

    Take a look at trends with staff leaving. There are lots of common problems which could be solved to prevent further people leaving.

    Stop staffing schools at bare bones levels. This is causing great people to leave which is turn is losing the business money due to difficulty recruiting replacements.

    Give staff an honest chance to address their managers. Many people within the business are "untouchable" due to close personal relationships they have.

    Do something about the horrendous amount of overtime worked in the summer. It is abusive how much staff have to work to keep standards up.

    Kaplan International Response

    8 Mar 2018

    Please accept my sincere thanks for the feedback in your employee review. As one of Kaplan International English's (KIE) priorities, the management team is working hard to reinvent the company... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Kaplan has enabled me to establish myself as a professional in a new country"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kaplan International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Workplace where you can make real impact and grab any opportunity to make a positive change for better
    Passionate team of educational professionals you can learn from
    Open multi-cultural environment with a family feel, where you build life-long relationships

    Cons

    As Kaplan is spread across many locations, it can be hard to maintain very close contact with all colleagues
    Faces turbulent macro-economic changes that can be quite challenging

    Advice to Management

    Keep promoting the start-up mentality and a new approach to how we do business. Continue keeping people up to date with all company changes - whether successes or flaws, we appreciate a continuous communication.

    Kaplan International Response

    14 Mar 2018

    Thank you for taking the time to review Kaplan International as a place to work. I am delighted to hear that you're enjoying your work at Kaplan International. You are not alone in your thoughts... More


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