University College London

  www.ucl.ac.uk
  www.ucl.ac.uk
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University College London Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
58 Reviews
4.2
58 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Arthur
8 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It has a relaxed environment with flexible working hours and sociable co workers (in 5 reviews)

  • Very flexible, good work life balance, interesting job (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • There is little opportunity for career advancement and senior management was less than helpful in terms of career advice and guidance (in 2 reviews)

  • Very old style pay scheme and promotion system; Can be isolated from the faculty level; Staying too long in the lab (in 2 reviews)

More Highlights

6 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Reputation based on research, not staff/student experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Support Staff  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Support Staff in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at University College London full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Location, reputation, a lot of talented people who are under-utilised.

    Cons

    Shambolic senior management, claim poverty while spending millions on pet projects, poor treatment of staff on lowest grades and contractors, lack of basic facilities, abysmal planning, little effort to build bridges between academics and support staff, increasingly privileged and homogenised intake of students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign and let somebody with talent, vision, and a semblance of morality take over, please.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Don't come here for a Post-doc

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at University College London full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Central London location
    Good access to modern facilities

    Cons

    Permanent staff treat contract staff as disposable
    Jobs advertised at post-doctoral level are in fact technician posts
    UCL requires employees to file false VAT declarations to avoid tax on purchases

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer fewer, longer term positions. UCL hires about twice as many people as there are viable projects. This causes a high rate of turnover of qualified people. Many post-docs and PhDs leave before the end of their contract or studies due to the tangible lack of support and commitment to their projects from management; resources are focused unequally across PhD students and post-docs, with clear favourites (golden children) and pariahs selected by management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    I worked in non academic position, which I would not recommend to anyone else.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at University College London

    Pros

    In the city center
    World famous institution.
    Very good for people working in academics

    Cons

    Expensive to commute and live
    Poor management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to train managers and follow university own policies to avoid any kind of victimization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Beware if applying for research assistant...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at University College London

    Pros

    The only good reason to work here is that you get a good vacation time, and the job is very flexible. you can come in at 10am as long as you finish your job.

    Cons

    I worked in one of their departments so i can only speak about the dept. Coming in as a research assistant, I had to work with a lot of associated which were all PhD holders. Due to that i was always let out in making decisions or even having an opinion. Most of them assumed i didn't know much because i just have a BS degree. I just performed studies blindly without anyone telling me what the study was really about. most of them just concluded I couldn't even do more instead trying me out first. The worst was when i had to take out trash and was all the items everyone had used. I would have just kept my AA degree if i wanted to do that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You really need to be frank to the applicants about the Job they will be doing. Also they need to assess the applicants skills before placing them in a position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    UCL

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at University College London

    Pros

    Prestigious university, central location in London.

    Cons

    Poor staff training, poor IT systems, short on space.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve IT systems, change staff training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Hit and miss

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrator  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Administrator in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at University College London

    Pros

    The part-time pay scale is not a low as in the private sector re administrative or clerical or support jobs if you need a part-time post, there was also some flexibility in some of the jobs if you have child care or studies to complete. Some of the senior staff are very interesting, appreciative and helpful people, but it is very hit and miss as to what the senior staff are going to be like.

    Cons

    Long hours, never enough staff to ensure things are done properly, and the pay scale is not that great if you are in full time employment as a PA or administrator and working in the centre of london in a stressful pressured environment. Do not be fooled into thinking that working for a university department is a 'soft job'. Academics can unfortunately live in strange 'bubbles' with a quirky view of life that can be fun at best and toxic at worst. I was lucky that two out of the three bosses I had over a number of years where down to earth and great to work for, but I witnessed dreadful treatment of staff in other departments. The senior staff (Academic or middle management in support areas) often have expectations can be unrealistic and many have little real appreciation of how support structures best work. When there are problems with bulling from middle managers, they are moved to different posts and the difficulties continue. Staff moral therefore becomes low and the 'good staff' don't hang about and simply leave once given the chance to do so. Often people would rather earn twice the wage for equal levels of stress, which is not hard to do in normal economic times, in a full time post, somewhere in London for one of the bigger firms.
    I witnessed senior academic staff treating junior academic and research staff quite badly, but due to the competitive nature of research, junior staff often simply relieved to employed in their chosen career areas and therefore put up with a great deal more stress, rudeness and difficulties than most would otherwise cope with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be helpful if there was an anonymous automated computerized system for staff to report difficulties, bullying and like (and or to report their thoughts when they leave their posts, an organized exit interview system) so that data could be built up over time and problem departments tackled. Rather than ongoing problems with bad team managers, lingering for years, because staff simply leave without saying things, because of fear of reprisals when references might be needed or are put off reporting difficulties because the situation ends up as a 'their word against mine' situation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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