The Open University Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

The Open University Reviews

Updated 14 September 2018
154 reviews

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154 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great company to work, the work-life balance is excellent" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Always used to be a good working environment and supportive colleagues" (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "Senior management like headless chickens" (in 9 reviews)

  • "Bullying culture, micro-management, not a lot of support and no opportunities for career progression" (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "buyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    nice culture, happy people, fab place

    Cons

    none, none , none, none,none


  2. "Should be a nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Manager in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - Team Manager in Milton Keynes, England
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits in terms of holidays, pension and ability to study

    Cons

    Bullying management on a power trip in student facing areas

    Advice to Management

    Peter Horrocks is a good guy. I think he can change it. He isnt helped by people with agendas and too many management in the academic services area. Hopeless management at that.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Review of the Open University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lecturer in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - Lecturer in Milton Keynes, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility, particularly if you have young children/caring responsibilities
    Opportunities for developing writing skills/production skills
    Some excellent colleagues

    Cons

    Lack of career progression
    Current climate at the Open University demoralising - VC talking about the coming biggest programme of cuts at any university in the UK with pride! Most regional centres already cut. Comes from BBC and not interested in day to day work of the university in delivering teaching across a wide range of subjects just in being at the forefront of media developments
    Micromanagement
    Lack of resources being devoted to the production of what used to be first class materials
    Pace of change in a big and complex UK wide institution - difficulties in managing student expectations in the face of the often irrational changes
    Managerialism and lack of support for staff
    Isolation - little effort to support staff working in isolated situations and largely at home since the closure of the regions.
    Big workload

    Advice to Management

    I have worked for the University for 8 years full time and seen a massive change over that time in the resources that are being devoted to what used to be the gold standard of materials. Time and resources have been cut drastically and staff morale has plummeted.

    Listen to staff delivering materials, teaching and administration on the front line
    Stop boasting about paying yourself £360,000 upwards to administer the biggest programme of redundancies in any university in the UK and get behind staff in their efforts to maintain high standards and produce good teaching materials in difficult times. Return to the core work of the university rather than devoting huge sums to high profile initiatives like Future Learn and starving the production and teaching teams of essential resources .
    Return to the core values of the Open University - social justice
    Support staff - every single metric has declined since this VC took over and yet he has paid himself £13k PRP ( and a vast salary) - what kind of accountability and governance is there?

    Take responsibility for the bad decisions that have been made and reflect on senior management's role in the decline in metrics and poor decision making
    Cut senior management and put resources into the faculties
    Listen to the people doing the job.
    Row back on the move to hive off the most valuable bits of the OU business

    Listen to the students rather than creating meaningless sound bites - the students consistently say they want a blended learning approach ( print, online and face to face teaching) and not for everything to be online.

    Listen to Senate


  4. "Needs radical change - uncertain future"

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

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice location - lots of green space yet near the city. Well placed between London and Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge etc. Very generous holidays, very flexible for part-time etc - especially for staff in centre of university.

    Cons

    Lack of vision, needs radical change to keep up with the times and also to remain financially viable. Major change management "transformation" programme, but trying to achieve too much change in a very disjointed way with no real leadership or vision. Staff feel very frustrated and disillusioned. Nobody has been given a clear message as to what the future direction is. Are the instituion going to become teaching only? What about world leading research areas? Many (including key academics) are looking to leave. And a very downbeat atmosphere across the campus.

    Advice to Management

    Get some clear direction and leadership!


  5. "Great job"

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

    I have been working at The Open University part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Freedom empowered energising, independent full of joys of teaching motivated students

    Cons

    Solitary because you are working at a distance

    Advice to Management

    More face to face interaction with students


  6. "FASS Student Support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    Great Team Managers
    Manageable targets
    Relaxed work environment

    Cons

    Sometimes problems with system limit ability to do job
    Out-dated computer programs


  7. "Uncertain times ahead ..."

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

    I have been working at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    An amazing institution with opportunities for agile working; use of an external employees assistance programme; supported learning; generous holiday entitlement; reasonable salary.

    Cons

    Too much change and not in a good way!

    Advice to Management

    Restore faith in the management and ethos of the organization.

  8. "The Open University"

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

    I have been working at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    Great company to work, the work-life balance is excellent.

    Cons

    At the moment I can`t see any


  9. "Sad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Development Manager in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - Senior Product Development Manager in Milton Keynes, England
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work
    Great colleagues
    Academics and Professional staff can work on an equal footing

    Cons

    Slow to change and Unionised staff

    Advice to Management

    Is it too late?


  10. "PhD Student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PhD Researcher in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - PhD Researcher in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very helpful, hardworking and intelligent colleagues.

    Cons

    More focus is on teaching at the cost of dwindling research.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in research activities.


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