Oxford University Reviews

Updated July 25, 2015
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4.3
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Oxford University Chancellor Christopher Francis Patten
Christopher Francis Patten
15 Ratings

Pros
  • The town of Oxford is also a great place to live (in 5 reviews)

  • Top people to work with and a beautiful city to live in (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Poor work-life balance, often poor supervision (in 5 reviews)

  • very expensive to live, and salary is general too low to ensure a truly comfortable life (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

129 Employee Reviews

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  1. Horrible place to work or put a loved on in

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

    I worked at Oxford University full-time

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

    Pros

    The food served is of great quality

    Cons

    Place smells Nursing staff and management or inept

    Advice to Management

    Fire existing management staff and hire qualified people


  2. Waste of time for junior faculty

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lecturer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lecturer in Oxford, England (UK)

    I worked at Oxford University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Nice town, great and convenient location.

    Cons

    Terrible and flawed grading system. Poor collegial relations amongst faculty. No support for junior faculty. Lots of false promises. Unfair and excessive workload unless you are a Reader/Professor. Money talks. Nobody cares.

    Advice to Management

    Wouldn't bother.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Better than the dole.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Incremental salary. Eighteen words worth of blather to hide the fact that frankly that's about it. It really is that bad.

    Cons

    Annual salary increments mean that while you stay it seems rosy, but the moment you come to look for work outside no-one will match that salary and you end up losing out through being too expensive to employ. Management structure appears to date from 12th century. Changing anything takes centuries if not millenia. Senior scientists are untouchable because they bring money in so however big a bully they are no-one will do anything about them. Far too many have risen to the top not like cream but like the lumps in a septic tank (look it up). Total lack of career structure for technical staff means you may well find yourself unemployable if you stay for more than a few years.

    Advice to Management

    Forget the rubbish about history and create a structure where staff have career progression, and the sphincters can be culled from the senior staff genepool.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great researching resources and students; poor salaries, employment rights and support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tutor and Instructor in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Tutor and Instructor in Oxford, England (UK)

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

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

    Pros

    The students are ambitious and wonderful to teach (mostly), and the libraries and community of scholars is vibrant and ambitious, if occasionally overly-competitive or a few years behind the trends.

    Cons

    Few, and increasingly fewer, tenured jobs, with more emphasis on by-hour and adjunct teaching, which means no payment for marking and prep. I was once told that, because I was based at a different college to the one I was tutoring for and was a grad student at the time -- that I had no right to photocopy for my students and that therefore any photocopies I needed for class would come out of my £22 per (classroom) hour wage. In general, Oxford knows that the brand has capital, and that academics cannot be choosy about their jobs in this market, and it seems to take full advantage of these facts by treating their employees as people who should be grateful just to be there.

    Advice to Management

    Professionalise your approach: ensure that everyone ranging from full professors and chairs to graduate tutors can benefit from salary and per-hour wage transparency, a clear year-by-year salary/wage ladder, and a federalised expectation of what colleges should be providing to their tutors outside of basic wage and/or salary. In general, federalise teaching provision and payment as much as possible: opportunities, hierarchies and support ranges far too drastically from college to college.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Bureaucratic monster, enormous pressure on scientists, little to none effectiveness of support staff and management

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

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    As any research job there are no constraints on how you should organise your work. Flexible hours and opportunities for travel. Very bright people to work with (researchers and professors)

    Cons

    40% to 100% overheads on research grants basically means for every £100 of research funds given by the taxpayers,£50 goes to the university and it is spent in unclear ways, feeding an gigantic pyramid of --mostly unnecessary-- support, secretarial, and IT staff. The difference between the salaries of the researchers and the one of the managers is absurd and unjustified. This lead to an enormous pressure on young scientists who have to focus first on feeding the system and only later on scientific achievements. Permanent positions are based mostly on personal connections and amount of money brought in.

    Advice to Management

    The operational procedures are incredibly complicated and work against efficiency.


  7. Feudal-In a good and a bad way

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

    I worked at Oxford University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fascinating people, Some remaining emphasis upon scholarship. Can be a wonderful place to pursue your unique passion. Can be supportive of genius, but only the right kind.

    Cons

    Feudal! Fewer opportunities for women. Things really shut down after 5pm. Not very cross disciplinary. Increasingly corporate and not accepting of differences or 'unsexy' academic topics.


  8. no

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

    I have been working at Oxford University

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    prestigious, famous university, ancient, first English univ. in the world. Still very good in academia. Strong research quality. Large funding. Rich colleges. The university traces its roots back to at least the end of the 12th century, although the exact date of foundation remains unclear. After a dispute between students and townsfolk broke out in 1209, some of the academics at Oxford fled north-east to the town of Cambridge, where the University of Cambridge was founded. The two universities have since had a long history of competition with each other.

    Cons

    bureaucratic. Old style management.. .

    Advice to Management

    modernization. .


  9. Good Employer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Dean
    Former Employee - Junior Dean

    I worked at Oxford University

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The brand cachet of the university attracts smart people from all over the world making it an exceptionally stimulating place to work.

    Cons

    The pay can be lower than similar positions at other universities.

    Advice to Management

    Look out rather than in.


  10. Flexible and relaxing, but be prepared to work with people spoiled by these benefits!

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

    I have been working at Oxford University

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible working hours Excellent time/work balance Good training opportunity

    Cons

    You might find people around you are always taking holidays Most of the people don't know what they are talking about Too much talk, too little work

    Advice to Management

    People don't become managers because they have stayed long enough - don't assign people know nothing about project management to be project managers!


  11. Medical Postdoc

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

    I worked at Oxford University

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Best university, beautiful place, friendly people, good personal relationship. Good atmosphere. Generally, a nice place to live and study in England.

    Cons

    No promotion, no hope, a place waiting to die. 1 out o 100 postdoc could become a real faculty there. Most people just have some training there, and then go away.

    Advice to Management

    Too less opportunity for a postdoc to become a real faculty, very competitive place. You have to be really outstanding to be there.



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