Oxford University Reviews

Updated February 21, 2015
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4.2
116 Reviews
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Oxford University Chancellor Christopher Francis Patten
Christopher Francis Patten
10 Ratings

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

  • Absolutely beautiful city to live in (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • very expensive to live especially the housing (in 5 reviews)

  • long hours, poor work life balance, limited opportunities for personal growth, (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Waste of time for junior faculty

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Wouldn't bother.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. Horrible place to work or put a loved on in

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

    I worked at Oxford University full-time

    Pros

    The food served is of great quality

    Cons

    Place smells
    Nursing staff and management or inept

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire existing management staff and hire qualified people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    The operational procedures are incredibly complicated and work against efficiency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. Administrative Assistant

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Oxford University

    Pros

    clear structure, pension scheme, holidays,

    Cons

    not much potential for growth, inflexible

  7. Unsure where the money goes

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

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

    Pros

    You get one-to-one tuition with some of the world's most talented and intelligent tutors.
    You get a good network of people who are likely to succeed.
    Excellent extra-curricular opportunities.

    Cons

    Sports facilities not great
    Can be queasy surrounded by such driven people all the time
    Seems like if you do a humanities subject, all the money you pay is largely to subside science subjects.
    Lectures often not useful.
    A lot of work sometimes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more on humanities / social sciences

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. Well established and a good name to work for

    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oxford, England (UK)

    I have been working at Oxford University as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Well funded and equipped research setting where almost anything becomes possible due to the massive amount of money and connections that come with working here. Lots of bright and committed colleagues which can really help push research forward.

    Cons

    Individual experience depends on your direct manager. Work-life balance is probably as bad as in any world leading research centre. Very difficult to get a permanent position. The salary is not in line with living costs, it should really come with a London style weighting as rents and house prices are considerably higher than the UK average.

  9. High expectations for no reward or offer of permanent work!

    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Oxford, England (UK)

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The majority of the team are helpful and pleasant to work with.
    The holidays are good but I do not get them as a temporary worker!
    The hours are reasonably flexible - if you need to get away on time generally you can
    The pay scales are pretty reasonable

    Cons

    There are a few obstructive individuals who make life difficult.
    There are high expectations of a temporary worker - in terms of hours
    There is an on going bullying culture that is not being tackled
    There is a lack of direction at times and clarity on what is required
    Highly reactive environment

  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Smart people, good work experience, but poor quality of life on the salaries available to postdocs.

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

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

    Pros

    The lab I work in has lived up to my exceptions. My supervisor and lab mates are intelligent, friendly, well spoken, and very hard working. As anywhere, it's hard to find a good work/life balance, but I no one is pressured to work beyond a standard work day.
    The labs I've been in are well funded, well equipped and well stocked.
    The city is beautiful. There is amazing architecture, as well as wonderful countryside walks very nearby.

    Cons

    The departmental bureaucracy can be painful to interact with.
    Oxford (and the south of England in general) is expensive to live in, and the postdoc positions do not pay enough to make living here truly comfortable.
    The university college system does not work well for postdocs. Opinions vary, but I feel that the system tends to make socializing more difficult - i.e. it tends to be isolating.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. i am a postdoc in genetics

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

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    if you want to do cutting-edge science, and the projects are truly challenging.

    Cons

    it's low paid, could be frustrating and sometime political

    No opinion of CEO

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