Oxford University Reviews

Updated June 22, 2015
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4.2
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Recommend to a friend
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Oxford University Chancellor Christopher Francis Patten
Christopher Francis Patten
14 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

124 Employee Reviews

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  1. Fantastic experience

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Reasonable salary, good head, fantastic team, Above average holidays

    Cons

    Too expensive living cost in Oxford.

    Advice to Management

    Should consider living cost in Oxford.


  2. Being a PhD student in the medical sciences at the University of Oxford

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

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of smart people
    Good mentorship
    Good pay
    PhD programs offer lab rotations

    Cons

    Quality of management/mentorship varies substantially by department

    Advice to Management

    Give as many PhD students as possible the opportunity to rotate through multiple labs to make an informed decision about where to work.


  3. Amazing people, amazing campus, lovely small city

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    You will meet some of the best yet down-to-earth minds ! Oxford taught me how to think about life, more than about my field of work ! Comparing with my previous experience in Asia and after interaction with researchers from other leading US/UK universities, I feel Oxford provides added flexibility and associated platforms to instigate creative thinking and produce ground-breaking research. Everyone from colleagues to the admin staff were ready to help you succeed (at least in my institute). City is compact. safe and green (well, its UK!), and has a friendly vibe ! You feel history in cobbled streets, old pubs, beautiful gardens and grand buildings ! Its just an hour from London by train (though expensive) and close to beautiful English countryside ! If you are interested, lots of social events to meet people. Also, fair amount of within-campus seminars and symposiums with leading individuals in industry, academia and government to hear from and connect with.

    Cons

    Decentralised administration, sometimes poor facility ! If you are in an old building, it can be cold in the winter ! But then, you are allowed to work at home (or in my case, local cafes). Salaries are not enough for single earner families as rents and other costs in Oxford are 2nd only to London and increasing.

    Advice to Management

    Consider salaries than align with actual living costs !


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. PhD student

    Former Employee - PhD Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Oxford, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    The university is well located. The college system is unique and quite enjoyable. As a PhD student, you can get a very good life/work balance.

    Cons

    Living and studying in Oxford University is very expensive. The living cost is close to that in London. Getting a full scholarship nowadays is becoming more and more difficult for non-European students.


  6. PhD

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Oxford University full-time

    Pros

    Amazing research happening at Oxford

    Cons

    It is academia - so things can be slow, but slow and steady wins the race sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    No advice to management


  7. Great mission-based employer

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

    I have been working at Oxford University

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great environment to work in--very stimulating.

    Cons

    Compensation could be better but benefits are terrific.


  8. Great for the great

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic colleagues, no limits other than your own.

    Cons

    Can be bureaucratic and hidebound.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.


  9. New College Specifically

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

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Lovely buildings and environment. Generally positive and collegial atmosphere. Teaching staff, administrative staff and students seem to see themselves as one community. A lot of autonomy for teachers.

    Cons

    Sometimes a bit inefficient. You find out things by accident. This is probably the flipside of autonomy and collegial informality.

    Advice to Management

    There is probably quite a lot of senior personnel change coming, but advice to newcomers is don't change too much. It's a delicate mechanism, easy to break.


  10. A great place to work

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

    I worked at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Great pension scheme - The best
    * Staff enjoy a host of benefits: Sports facilities, Free food, Access to almost all available lectures and study material, Access to conferences and seminars as well as libraries
    * Very secure employment contracts and policies regarding employment matters
    * Great flexibility for parents and those with care commitments
    * Great social events for staff
    * Oxford is a nice place to work/live in

    Cons

    The Cons are specific to IT roles within the University and do not apply to other types of roles:
    * Relatively lower salaries (compared to market)
    * Opportunities for growth are scarce due to the limited number of Technical staff per college or institute


  11. 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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