The Open University Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Glassdoor uses cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing, you agree to our use of cookies. OK | Learn More

The Open University Reviews

Updated 4 October 2017
126 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

126 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • I found there was a great emphasis on work-life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • Excellent IT systems to enable work from home (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Bullying culture, micro-management, not a lot of support and no opportunities for career progression (in 7 reviews)

  • Sometimes people in Milton Keynes make stupid decisions but that happens anywhere (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "OU Ruined by Poor Senior Management"

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

    I have been working at The Open University part-time

    Pros

    Great students to work with. Lot of flexibility in how you allocate time to supporting students.

    Cons

    Disorganised constant quest for change. Clueless senior management have ruined a once great institution. Poor reward for a lot of work. Rely too much on goodwill of employees without any corresponding respect from senior management.

    Advice to Management

    Do the decent thing and resign. Listen to frontline staff before embarking on poorly thought through changes. Stop being driven by dodgy market research. Focus instead on evidence-based pedagogy to recreate the OU as an innovative disruptor in the higher education marketplace.


  2. "Review"

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

    I have been working at The Open University part-time

    Pros

    Very rewarding place to work.
    Having worked with the OU for eight years I have found it to be a good employer

    Cons

    Some recent job insecurity as student numbers are falling


  3. "Student Services review"

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

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Staff within teams/department are good to work with and helpful.

    Cons

    Significant management changes every year
    External consultants brought in yearly


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "A great organisation but a period of uncertainty and necessary change"

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

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

    Pros

    Really great people who care about students and are proud to work for OU, good culture, supportive management and reasonable perks, especially annual leave. I have worked at similar organisations and there is a lot worse out there!

    Cons

    Systems & processes outdated, admin heavy and obviously there are big changes afoot meaning there will be undoubted redundancies which will be a real shame.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the right people are involved in identifying the improvements that need to be made at all levels. There really needs to be a clear long term strategy and don't get lost in the cost cutting. I know there will be reinvestment in technology but don't forget to reinvest in the workforce who are facing a challenging time. Marketing strategy could be much improved. Marketing need to learn from those on the front line far more effectively.


  6. "Student support advisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Student Services in Manchester, England
    Current Employee - Student Services in Manchester, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great holidays, great people who genuinely care

    Cons

    Can't get time off, recently combined 2 roles and still in transitional period
    Calls not routed correctly


  7. "Linux system administration"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Programmer in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Programmer in Milton Keynes, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Public sector pension and benefits and hundreds of servers to gain experiences on.as it also is profit making youhave comercial big company experience

    Cons

    Pay is not higher end and the business is assessed by senior business people who themselves pay for the business profits by being clients themselves


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Insecure and chaotic, but rewarding work"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Get to teach earnest, conscientious students, mainly home based so flexible as work to own timetable, occasionally get to meet students at face-to-face tutorials, fee waivers for university study, free access to online journals

    Cons

    Really isolating as work solo, rarely get to meet colleagues and discuss work; no career progression in fact the opposite as increasing redundancies; in 7 years still in the same position teaching the same module regardless of effort; career development opportunities non-existent; expected to do a lot of work unpaid.

    Advice to Management

    Consider your lecturers' other commitments before upping the workload, offer more opportunities for research, offer more opportunities for ALs to meet socially every now and again.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "A University in crisis again"

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

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

    Pros

    Location, free parking, annual leave of 33 days, supportive manager

    Cons

    Too many changes, too quickly, ineffective VC who spends more time polishing his BAFTA's

    Advice to Management

    The clue is in the name 'University'. It's not a business. Having employed the current and previous VC with no Education experience, the OU needs to go back to its core roots. Peter "look at my BAFTA's" Horrocks has made major changes in 2 years, bad decisions and is now putting staff under more worry and stress with OU Redesign. Senior staff have no clue what they are doing apart from running what was once a great british institution, further deep into the ground.


  10. "Underated"

    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

    Team environment - everyone feels like they're working towards the same goal
    Modern facilities
    Great people - a lot of out-of-work socializing, people look out for each other

    Cons

    Can be over-fixated on doing things as they always have been and slow to try/attempt new things.

    Advice to Management

    Greater flexibility in approaches to things. If there is a need for jumping through bureaucratic hoops it's often poorly/not explained to staff leading to frustration.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "How are the mighty fallen..."

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

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

    Pros

    The people I have worked with here over the last decade have been the most consistently good colleagues I have had anywhere: intelligent, supportive, conscientious people who know the true meaning of teamwork and put it into practice instead of paying lip service then forgetting about it. Pity most of them are being made redundant now.

    Cons

    The disastrous locations axing project with its declared aim of putting "Students First" has got rid of hundreds of the most experienced and committed staff, with detrimental consequences for students. The OU's laudable stated aims, culture and values are routinely overlooked for the sake of letting senior managers bulldoze through their changes with complete disregard and disdain for the warnings and advice of more experienced colleagues. Quality of line management varies greatly from one team to another: I have been relatively lucky in my line management, especially recently, but know that many of my colleagues have been much less lucky. Many staff are underpaid and extremely overqualified for the work they do, and there are not enough opportunities for promotion.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your colleagues: they know what they are doing, and they care about the University. Vice-Chancellor and University Secretary: resign before you destroy this once-great institution entirely.


Showing 126 of 141 reviews
Reset Filters