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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 (2)

    "Flexible working, friendly environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - Editor in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Flexible working including home working
    Good pay
    Friendly staff
    Approachable management

    Cons

    Bureaucracy
    Lack of career progression (in academic related posts)
    Top heavy management
    Dubious recruitment practices - pretending to be fair and transparent but a bit of a 'who you know' culture

    Advice to Management

    reintroduce variety into management roles - yu could have one manager instead of three and as an employee every decision wouldn't have to be cleared through three different people. Also, resource management dept just slows things down - we can be more much efficient if we just go and speak to people rather than having to fill out a request, give a two week turnaround and sending an email to a generic inbox


  2. "Great work life balance but worrying change of direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    Friendly atmosphere
    Relaxed environment
    Grounds and staff facilities are fabulous

    Cons

    Little confidence in the decision making of the management and the mis-management of projects resulting in a lot of wasted expenditure


  3. Helpful (2)

    "job review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The Open University part-time

    Pros

    Excellent holiday entitlement, great campus grounds with lots of fabulous, friendly and committed staff.

    Cons

    Not the best place to work at present as the organisation is going through huge change, faculty mergers and regional offices closing. so staff morale is low in some areas.


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  5. "Large Organisation with lots of opportunity"

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

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

    Pros

    Scope of opportunities available are endless, great for digital and data potential.

    Cons

    Need a map to navigate! Many areas of the campus which require layers of process, slowing progress down at times.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the balanced, leading edge skills high, fantastic business - keep it alive in todays digital world!


  6. Helpful (8)

    "So much promise - but so much bullying!"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, and very generous salaries at academic support level when compared with other sectors.

    Cons

    Where to start! In some ways a great place to work; on paper the core values and goals are admirable, respectable, and represent somewhere most people would love to work. In practice, it lets itself down. After working in several faculties and support units over a 10 year period, I can definitely say that a real bullying culture exists across the board. There are far too many middle managers doing far too little, at the expensive of the genuine support roles, and unfortunately at the expense of academic roles also. Unfortunately I experienced a bully/blame culture in several departments, and know that in one particular instance this was a well known problem and had been for some time. The central HR department are woefully incompetent, and seem hesitant to get involved in issues until it is too late. Departmental HR teams are too keen to keep issues 'in-house' which creates a really isolating environment for those experiencing issues.

    Advice to Management

    Support and nurture the genuine talent you have at the bottom of the ladder. Genuinely support career progression, rather than merely paying it lip service.
    Real improvements need to be made in HR to support employees with genuine issues; the high rate of long term sickness absence in certain areas should be enough to highlight where the real issues are. Address these issues rather than getting rid of good people who have been hung out to dry by unsupportive and bullying management.


  7. "Good benefits"

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

    Pros

    Holiday plus BH and closure days, parking

    Cons

    the culture has not moved with the times


  8. "Good Employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manchester, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manchester, England
    Recommends

    Pros

    Good environment, nice colleagues, interesting work, possible to move up if you work hard enough. Good holidays.

    Cons

    Not many cons - the usual average salary


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Lip Service only to Equal Opp's"

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

    I worked at The Open University (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good salary, good holiday allowance, good job roles to be had.

    Cons

    Sadly equal opportunities, HR and/or Union support only exist on glossy brochures and in company policy documentation. The reality is far from pleasant: Any discrimination, harassment, or grievance case - however real or blatant - is swiftly quashed to preserve management and company reputation, to the detriment of staff. Workplace bullying abounds and many staff stat's show frequent long-term sick leave the only resort of those plagued by insecure and vindictive/ego-driven managers.

    Advice to Management

    Deal with workplace bullying & harassment and stop covering up the scandals. Do as you say (on paper) you do.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Change of management destroyed what was once a nice place to work"

    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

    Pros

    Pay is decent, that's about it.

    Cons

    It has basically become a call centre. Excessive micromanagement. Poor treatment of staff. Allocation of shifts that have no regards to the employee (if you don't live nearby then it's bye-bye social life / non-work activities). Failing to provide staff with vital updates/information. Lack of work variett. All in all, its a frustrating, miserable job role.

    Advice to Management

    The Open University has some wonderful people working for them; if they continue to keep treating their staff shabbily then they will find that many will seek employment elsewhere very soon.


  11. "Statistician"

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

    Pros

    Wonderful environment flexible considerate supported me in getting different training certificate as well. It was a really friendly place to work. Sense of community

    Cons

    Can be slow so I did not find it so challenging but maybe higher up the post you would find it so.


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