King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Reviews | Glassdoor

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Reviews

Updated April 11, 2017
86 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.7
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

86 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
Cons
  • I had to commute every day from the nearest city (an hour drive) (in 5 reviews)

  • HR department is totally dysfunctional (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "The BCL"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Bar Harbor, ME
    Former Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Bar Harbor, ME
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful place to work and live

    Cons

    Trade scientific diversity for lack of scientific focus

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the office and meet the students


  2. "Lead"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities if you have initiative, great professional development, solid benefits and a fantastic community with all that one could need

    Cons

    It is a relative small organization so advancement opportunities are limited. It takes 60 min to drive to Jeddah. The golf course is a 9 hole.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Manager"

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

    I worked at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology full-time

    Pros

    great for young families, probably not so interesting for singles. Community activities, sports facilities, ease of movement around the campus (free bus service), good Internet connectivity.

    Cons

    isolated community, with a desire on the part of administration to emulate Western institutions and values. Hard to learn Arabic here or hire tutors for children, if desired, as KAUST Schools prohibited school Arabic teachers from offering tutoring outside the school after hours/weekends,


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


  5. Helpful (6)

    "HR Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good money, bad work culture

    Cons

    Horrible place to work!!!! Stay away!!!

    Advice to Management

    Hire from within more.


  6. "Teaching Assistant"

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

    Pros

    Very supportive professor and environment. Witnessing the anxiety of learning new material on others was eye opening.

    Cons

    Anxiety can be hammering students ability to deliver - Upper Management solutions are not addressing the sources of such anxiety.


  7. "Economic Development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology full-time

    Pros

    This was a remarkable work experience. It was rewarding to work with people from all around the world. It was amazing.

    Cons

    There were no downsides to this experience. It was a wonderful facility with great minds from around the world. KAUST is state of the art.

    Advice to Management

    The management always encouraged you to do your best. There was support when you needed it and room to grow.


  8. Helpful (12)

    "Your experience will entirely depend on your close colleagues"

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

    Pros

    There are some great people here, and some that are terrible to work with. My best advice is: Before accepting a position here, make sure you feel very comfortable with the people you'll be reporting to and/or working with. You should feel able to approach your future colleagues or boss with questions as you make your decision (don't get all your info from HR; they mean well, but be sure to speak with those you'll be working for, too).

    Pros, assuming you follow the above advice and have a good work situation: as others have noted, commute to work is very easy (unless you are a contractor living off-site), supermarket is convenient and is improving, some resort-like recreational facilities, good for outdoor enthusiasts except in the heat of the summer, travel opportunities, savings opportunities. Professional development opportunities may be available, but ask about this during your interview process if it's important to you, and see how this question is received. I also want to correct a previous reviewer; women can and do travel unaccompanied outside of KAUST (they just can't drive outside of KAUST).

    Cons

    You'll be working with people who you also share a community with. This can create a certain amount of stress; taking precautions can mitigate this somewhat, so, try to avoid gossip and get involved in "politics" as little as possible.

    There are very limited entertainment options if you do not enjoy outdoor activities. Going into Jeddah is not like going into the modern cities that you may be used to, as there is very little in the way of an arts or entertainment scene, and of course no bars or clubs (a few decent restaurants, though).

    If you are someone who likes the feeling of going new places and seeing new things all the time, you will start to feel "trapped" in KAUST pretty quickly, and may get consumed with traveling all the time (some are ok with this; others find it eats into their savings). On the other hand, if you don't mind spending time at home, you may not struggle with this as much.

    There is very deeply engrained social segregation and racism. This goes for everywhere in the middle east, and can be very jarring at first. Realize that you are coming to a country with no "activism" or progress being made on this front.

    Biggest possible con of all IMO is if you land in a lab/office/work environment with very difficult or incompetent colleagues or management, but I think that goes for anywhere, not just KAUST. Do your homework before signing up.

    Advice to Management

    Keep salaries up and keep providing good annual increases, to help with retention. The perception is that KAUST is tightening the belt, and it's ok to do that in other areas, but not employee salaries, or you will quickly get attrition. In terms of staff, the recruitment team seems to be bringing in people who are, on the whole, experienced and competent (I am speaking about recent hires). Obviously, keep doing this, but make sure they are being managed by people who are similarly competent.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great world experience in multicultural community but has challenges."

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

    Pros

    Great pay and chance to get out of debt and save. Get to experience the world with plenty financial benefits and vacation days. My job is low stress and so is life on campus but can be boring at times. Great for young or just starting families but not so great for singles.

    Cons

    Saudi Arabia can be challenging to adjust to for westerners but not too bad once adjustment period is over. Plenty chance to travel.

    Advice to Management

    Need more vision in general and better plans for implementing efficient and effective administrative tactics.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Kaust"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Safe compound living
    Great for Small families

    Cons

    Some people are very close minded


  11. Helpful (9)

    "Great opportunity to gain management experience in the Gulf in a non-petroleum based job-but only for a few years!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The people! It's such an international community that you'll make friends and work with colleagues from literally all over the world. It is nice for families--super safe, and a supportive network of families. The money is good, if you have the "right" citizenship. It is possible to advance if you're willing to work harder than everyone else and just keep pushing--but burn out will happen quickly. Also, you must come in at a relatively high level to ever advance--lower-level hires get stuck with the stigma of their original salary/position, no matter how well they perform.

    Cons

    It's a university run like a business. Total lack of transparency, especially about institutional goals. Poor leadership. There is a real lack of accountability--It's possible to put in the bare minimum of effort and still coast along, which is incredibly frustrating to colleagues.

    Advice to Management

    Sadly, management would consider taking advice beneath them.


Showing 86 of 96 reviews
Reset Filters