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The Open University Reviews

Updated 4 October 2017
126 reviews

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126 Employee Reviews

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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 (1)

    "Peaceful place and good benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Milton Keynes, England

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

    Pros

    Good social and health insurance, pleasent campus, relaxed atmosphere.

    Cons

    Problems in organisation and complicated administrative procedures.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "student advisor"

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

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

    Pros

    I cannot think of any at all

    Cons

    Bullying culture, it's a case of if your face fits you are ok, terrible training when starting university, forcing people to leave if they have any opinions on the way things are done in the work place, never encountered such a work place . Management are terrible not interested in anything other than themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Start listening to the staff as individuals they all have separate needs, and need to be looked at.


  3. "Student Support"

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

    I worked at The Open University part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It was a pleasure working in the IT Student/Tutor support team, every day was a different challenge and kept me on my toes. The location is fantastic in Mlton Keynes and I could not fault any of my experiences there.

    Cons

    Never managed to get back there after two short contracts ! Can't say there are any cons tbh


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  5. "Excellent benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and work-life balance

    Cons

    Process bound and somewhat inflexible.


  6. "Great organisation at a time of change"

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

    Pros

    Fabulous organization supporting hard working people to get on

    Cons

    HE Sector change and need to keep at the forefront of online and distance learning means the University is having to flex at a new speed - exciting, challenging and rewarding


  7. "Associate Lecturer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Lecturer in Birmingham, England
    Former Employee - Associate Lecturer in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You count! The impact that you can have on providing life-changing opportunities for people who did not have the chance to go to university via the traditional route

    Cons

    The OU is charging, and whilst change is inevitable in all walks of life, it is having a major impact on the fundamental values that underpinned an OU learning experience.

    Advice to Management

    Remember the USPs that set the OU apart from the rest and made it the 'national treasure' that it became. Staff were proud to work for it, not because it paid well but simply because it was the OU!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "The Open University"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Helping students achieve their potential. Lots of interesting roles within various units and faculties. Good campus with lots of free parking.

    Cons

    No obvious career progression. Need to go through very lengthy and cumbersome application process when applying for other roles within the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Make the internal application process less onerous. Nurture those who wish to progress in order to avoid them becoming frustrated and demoralized. Re-think the merit award system which currently requires people to beg for extra money.


  9. "The potential is there!"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great setting, excellent benefits and a worthwhile mission. The OU is a well-known and beloved brand and working here can feel like you can really make a difference in the world.

    Cons

    Recent changes in management and constant restructures are destabilizing. Also the speed of change is incredibly poor and reaction to the markets is frustratingly slow. The ideas about change and adaptation are there but legacy systems and outdated processes can slow down any chance of improvement.

    Advice to Management

    Take more time to appreciate the great people that work here and also take into consideration the current state of the market to develop products that consumers actually want. It is not sufficient to bombard the customer base with messages - if the university doesn't offer what they are after, they will not sign up.


  10. "Associate lecturer"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Can work from home, can study for free, a nice community to be part of

    Cons

    Job insecurity, high expectations of students, low rate of pay

    Advice to Management

    Improve job security for associate lecturers


  11. "The Open University"

    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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great work-life balance and people in a culture that genuinely care about what they are trying to achieve.

    Cons

    Can lack the vision and an aligned strategy to implement real, meaningful change across the university.

    Advice to Management

    Get serious about change.


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