University of Sunderland - Avoid if at all possible - This review is for the London campus | Glassdoor
  1. Helpful (7)

    "Avoid if at all possible - This review is for the London campus"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at University of Sunderland full-time

    Pros

    - Despite being quite a negative environment, many employees are very pleasant to work with. - The job designs are generally quite poor, so you do get a lot of experience across a range of functions and activities. - Generally good annual leave including 27 days annual in addition to bank holidays and Christmas closure. - They'll pay for you to attend graduation ceremonies, paying for your hotel and expenses,... which is quite lovely.

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    Cons

    - The salaries are EXTREMELY poor! The salaries for each job post are probably around £4,000 below equivalent roles in other London HE institutions. This is something that can be researched very easily. They do say they provide LWA of around £1,000... maybe think about what this says about how much they value their staff. - The pension scheme is terrible for a HE institution. UoSiL use NEST and pay a mere 3% of... your salary into your pension. Most other HE institutions have really good DB schemes, for example, the main Sunderland campus uses LGPS for most grades and the employee contribution for this is 12%. Again, what does this suggest to you about how UoSiL see their staff? - They do not promote a Union to you, like all other Universities do. Ask yourself what that indicates. - The work is stressful and difficult due to poor job design. This makes for a low morale, high staff turnover and can take its toll personally. - The students aren't always the easiest to deal with. The Institution tends to attract individuals with educational attainment so low that other Universities won't accept them. Many of the students are there solely for the grants and living cost loans (which is understandable in the current political climate) and the Institution turns a blind eye to this as they want the tuition fee loans. This is often the worst thing for such students, as many struggle to get acceptable grades for employment, end up with debt and don't necessarily get a lot of social or welfare support whilst studying. - Following on from the previous point, some of the students are downright rude, inappropriate and unpleasant to deal with. This adds to the job dissatisfaction. - The Institution uses agents, who blatantly lie to the students about course availability and added extras, leaving them disappointed and as staff you have to deal with their understandably negative reactions! This is one of the extremely unethical aspects... it is downright scamming and immoral treatment of some already vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals in society. (You'd understand this more working in a role there). - The University doesn't operate like a University should. Whilst all Universities have seen a shift to more commercial practices, the UoSiL operates like a fully private sector entity. It is in fact listed as a limited company. It is my opinion that it exists solely to make money for the main campus. This practice is at the expense of disadvantaged students that need living cost money/have social disadvantages that don't allow them enter employment. This is probably another reason for the low salaries- market rate salaries are not seen as an appropriate expense of profits. - Indeed, there are 4 enrolment periods per year, they aim to fill as many spaces as possible and talk primarily in monetary terms, it is a bit unusual to place so much emphasis on this as a University. This many intakes is too much, it detracts from the quality the students get and some academics have admitted that they find it difficult to teach so constantly, but the reality is that 4 intakes makes a lot of money... £9,000 per student approximately. - The Students' Union is really poor and the students do not get services and 'added extras' comparable to most institutions. Which isn't very clear and really unfair. Another reason courses here are bad value for money and another indication of their profit centred approach. - They really sail upon the successes of the main UoS campus and use it to market UoSiL, which gives an inaccurate picture entirely!

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    Advice to Management

    This will never be actioned, so only worth writing for the benefit of the audience. - £9,000 isn't an appropriate amount of money to be charging students, as the institution is such poor quality. UoS isn't well ranked anyway, if UoSiL was standalone, it would undoubtedly be in the bottom 5% across all measures. There is little value for money and the programmes are definitely not worth £9,000 and I think most... people externally, as well as many internally would agree with that! - Bring up your salaries to match every other 'credible' University in London. You won't do that, but it'll make your staff feel more appreciated, lower the turnover and boost morale. - Get rid of NEST and introduce LGPS like the main UoS campus. Again, this is too expensive and would lower your profits, so you won't do it! - You have some lovely and hardworking people working for you, do something tangible, such as the above to show you appreciate them! - Do not encourage students to stay if they- OR YOU- know the course isn't right for them. Also, don't allow them to stay for continual misconduct! Again, this moral and sensible action would result in money lost, so you won't do it! - Your general practices just aren't like those of normal Universities, it really is quite bizarre! - Ultimately, I think your institution is broadly detrimental to staff and students alike and should simply be decommissioned. I don't for a minute want anyone to lose their jobs, but I do want people to move on to the better working conditions that they deserve! They'd definitely deserve a good redundancy payout. As a final note, yes this is a critical review, but make no mistake that this is what many of your staff are thinking, even if they don't tell you! If there is a follow up comment trying to contest any of this, that's your call, but for any readers, I can assure you this is unembellished and fully accurate to the best of my knowledge. If you take up a post here, you will see this bad environment and treatment for yourself. However, you will certainly have good people to work with for the most part. Use the place as a stepping stone for your career, but don't get comfortable, it only gets vastly better after this!

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    University of Sunderland2019-02-27

Other Employee Reviews

  1. "Negative Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Sunderland full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    This review applies to the LONDON CAMPUS. There are some good employees at the London Campus, but most leave after a year or so once they realise there are much better Universities in London to work at.

    Cons

    One of my first observations of the Senior Management at the London Campus was how for such a successful campus, they don't really celebrate success, but thrive on negativity and make a huge deal over what were, in my opinion really minor matters. Like other comments for this campus, the pay rates are below other Universities in London, less annual leave as well compared to other Universites and the NEST pension is... an absolute insult at just 3% contribution when other Universities contribute so much more. Even the staff at the main Campus in Sunderland get a better benefits package than the staff in London, which is really ironic considering how the London Campus makes so much profit and is basically funding the main campus, since it's not doing so well financially.

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    Advice to Management

    Not worth the energy of writing anything as they don't care or listen. My advice would be to get ride of most of the Senior Management as that's where the problem sits and it keeps on trickling down, hence the high staff turn over.

    University of Sunderland2019-10-13
  2. "London Campus - TOXIC, don't work here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Assistant in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Sunderland full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The support staff and lecturers work hard under a difficult structures. There are some good managers with a positive and supportive attitude towards their staff. Work/life balance is good. I didn't feel expected to work late, or do more than was required of my job role. The holidays are quite good.

    Cons

    The main issue with this campus is the senior management team. It is a toxic work environment which flows down from the top. Some of the senior managers are bullies, while the others sit back and watch. There is little respect, support or motivation given to the staff, especially in student services. It felt like we were constantly being criticised no matter how hard we worked. Staff who disagree or... challenge senior management are ostracised and/or bullied. The pension is poor. Main campus staff are treated differently to London Campus staff.

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    Advice to Management

    Show some respect for your staff. Stop bullying. Why not try motivating, communicating and making it a great place to work. Why not listen to the staff and their ideas? Perhaps then there would not be such a high turnover of staff.

    University of Sunderland2019-09-30

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