The Open University Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

The Open University Reviews

Updated 14 June 2018
149 reviews

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149 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. "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!


  2. "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

  3. "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


  4. "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.


  5. "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


  6. "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?


  7. "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.

  8. "In need of change"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    excellent brand
    commitment to the institution

    Cons

    Its lost its way. Its an organisation for the staff and not the students. The operating model is not fit for the 21st C. They know this and they want to change...but they don't know how to.

    Advice to Management

    The danger isn't making the wrong decision, the danger is not making a decision (or making a decision and not sticking to it)


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Changes at the Open University"

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

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Enjoyable team working, excellent support from line managers

    Cons

    Disconnected senior management, lack of communication over big changes in OU

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees otherwise you become disconnected from what is really happening on the front lines


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Headless chickens"

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

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

    Pros

    relaxed environment,
    autonomy in the role,
    Holidays and pension
    great ethical social cause that you can really get behind

    Cons

    Senior management like headless chickens
    too much silo working but those at the top in individual units not willing to change despite the current restructuring project
    bullying by particular senior individuals
    Been here for over 10 years and had enough and want out now
    Systems are terrible


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