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University of Birmingham Lecturer Reviews

Updated 12 September 2017
5 reviews

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Lecturer

2.4
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University of Birmingham Chancellor Karan Bilimoria
Karan Bilimoria
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexible working, many Holidays, great Pension (in 11 reviews)

  • Very beautiful campus in Birmingham (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • No cons to working at University of Birmingham (in 3 reviews)

  • Bureaucratic red tape which makes green-lighting anything in a timely fashion nearly impossible (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Excellent and challenging environment"

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

    Pros

    Great accademia interaction, full support from senior management.

    Cons

    Heavy teaching load spread across under graduate and post graduate posts.


  2. "Lecturer"

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

    I have been working at University of Birmingham full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Red Brick university, caries a good name .

    Cons

    Staff demoralised. Crazy expectations, zero help. Very high turnover.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "not a nice place"

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

    I have been working at University of Birmingham (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pay i competitive, but not commensurate to the number of hours effectively worked.

    Cons

    Huge work pressure, work overload, we are expected to work several non remunerated extra hours per week, constant job insecurity due to periodic restructurations, little respect for academic independence.

    Advice to Management

    Increase quality of life of workers. According to the THE this is one of the universities with the highest stress levels amongst staff.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Missing collegiality and a sense of purpose"

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

    I have been working at University of Birmingham full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good work happening around the university and a fair amount of opportunities for funding.

    Cons

    The biggest disappointment is that UoB is very managerially top-heavy and extremely conservative. Schools and departments are siloed, meaning that there is very little in the way of interdisciplinary opportunities or collaboration. Mostly, the campus feels un-dynamic.

    Advice to Management

    Pursue a flatter management structure, trust your employees to make decisions and empower all on the campus to have pride in the university.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "University of Birmingham from a former lecturer's perspective"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at University of Birmingham full-time

    Pros

    The pros are the lovely campus, with a new library and forthcoming 'green heart'. As in most British universities, colleagues are lovely. There are opportunities for funding and an excellent research office to support grant-writing. Students, although rather too goal-orientated (i.e. focused on marks rather than intellectual achievement) are good. If you play the game, and are rhetorical, career opportunities are good, especially if you are a man and are white.

    Cons

    In my experience, Birmingham's management is high-handed and brutal. Care for staff is minimal and to work here you need to be rhetorically minded and able to market yourself. The ability to market yourself will outweigh intellectual abilities and will get you noticed by senior management, who will then help you to advance. You will be told that your work is not good enough even if you get grants and do 4* research: it is never enough. The over-paid vice-chancellor rides roughshod over the history of the University in order to put in conservative changes which promote not intellectual searching, but conformism, a conformism which shatters intellectual freedom, devalues many subjects in the university, and devalues the multiplicity and breadth of intellectual pursuit. There is no opportunity to do unpopular research or to risk, and that means conformism. Staff at Birmingham, at least in my neck of the woods, were under tremendous stress, many had become anxious and were afraid of failing, even when excellent. Those that didn't conform are managed out. This is not an institution which knows how to nurture women's careers: the management is still largely white and male and the rhetoric is male and often battle-orientated. If you take a job here, check the status of your Department in the eyes of the management: if it is not in favour, you are unlikely to find long-term favour, however good you are. If you are not rhetorical, thick skinned and marketable, then chose another institution. The aims of Birmingham are shallow: money and status. If those are your aims then UoB is likely to satisfy you. I have moved elsewhere now, where management is humane and more trusting and the values are closer to my own.

    Advice to Management

    Your rhetorical tagline says you are 'bold'. Be that. The conformism to the demands of government, a government which obsessively measures falsehoods (REF does not really measure intellectual abilities; TEF is a measure of staff popularity and the turning of organisational wheels, not of real learning) needs to come second to supporting academic staff in their individual and collective pursuit of intellectual excellence in teaching and research. Strip away the rhetorical competition, which creates only mass neurosis, and strip away the layers of administration. Let academics do what they do so well: teach and research to the standards that they set themselves, which are already so high. Academics know when their work is good - but micromanaging them into always doing more, until they have no life left, will burn them out and drive the best of them away.