University of Cambridge

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University of Cambridge Reviews

Updated August 3, 2014
Updated August 3, 2014
98 Reviews
4.4
98 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
29 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work-life balance is great, with sufficient leave entitlement and flexible working arrangements (in 7 reviews)

  • Very nice academia environment and full of smart people (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • A small town, that offers little to do outside of work (in 4 reviews)

  • little interaction with collegues (depending on departmant/research group) (in 2 reviews)

More Highlights

4 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great reputation, disappointing reality behind the facade.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contracts Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Contracts Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at University of Cambridge full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Cutting edge world-class research
    Good benefits; generous annual Leave, pension and discounts across the city.
    Good reputation - the name carried kudos

    Cons

    Extremely disorganised - eg. no PC until week 3
    Little/ no training
    Strict hierarchical structure
    Autocratic management approach
    Understaffed
    Dated building
    Overcrowded office space
    Senior management disrespectful/ dismissive
    HR unsupportive and unresponsive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a more honest and balanced approach to dealing with staff of all grades. Provide a general feedback facility for reporting dissatisfaction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Massive wealth - anachronism

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

    I have been working at University of Cambridge full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of time off allowed, plenty of benefits depending on your Grade in the uni society (see Cons below).

    Work-life balance is good.

    Cons

    It's a successful university split into two parts: 'academic' and 'non-academic' work. Non-academics may as well be considered indentured servants, even if they're as capable as academic staff (e.g. Doctors of engineering working as software developers are considered 'non academic').

    The University is an umbrella org that facilitates data sharing between 32 colleges, but its the colleges that are extraordinarily wealthy. The university is cash strapped and most of its staff are non-academic.

    There's a tremendous disparity between the rights of people of equal capability to earn relatively similar amounts of money in salary terms; and it all comes down to the Grading of your position by HR.

    HR is superbly anachronistic, and for example considers a senior software engineer to be the same thing / level / grade as a senior anything else: including office administrators, lab techs and secretaries.

    The city is a terminal city, people come and go - plus it has small town syndrome. The uni people are self absorbed and self centered; the local town people are jaded and resentful of the uni people.

    The keyword I'd use is Feudal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Modernise your grading system and recognise skilled employees as such. The rest of the world is better than you at identifying / categorising skilled labour types. Unify your budgets and demand more from the colleges, who have more than they need to secure themselves for the next 500 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could be great but only with better management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Laboratory Manager
    Current Employee - Laboratory Manager

    I have been working at University of Cambridge

    Pros

    Lots of internal training available, final salary pension, good leave entitlement.

    Cons

    Awful management, little communication, enormous disparity in the way support staff and academic staff are treated, no flexibility

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Good work life balance but limited progression opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at University of Cambridge

    Pros

    The University offers excellent work life balance although sometimes taking this to the extreme as some employees take advantage of this and sickness absence is high.

    Cons

    As a research assistant there is limited opportunities for progression which is generally linked to publications in journals rather than performance in undertaking high quality research and the generation of money for the department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Introduction of timesheets to ensure that all staff contribute equally and some are not taken advantage of.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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