The Open University Reviews | Glassdoor

The Open University Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
115 reviews

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3.0
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The Open University Vice-Chancellor Peter Horrocks
Peter Horrocks
33 Ratings

115 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work-life balance and people in a culture that genuinely care about what they are trying to achieve (in 9 reviews)

  • Great holidays, great people who genuinely care (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Bullying culture, micro-management, not a lot of support and no opportunities for career progression (in 7 reviews)

  • In some areas there appear to be far too many managers / senior managers at the expense of "workers" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A flexible company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staffing Coordinator in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Staffing Coordinator in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    Flexible, work my own hours, free online courses, liase with candidates globally, good sales training courses, make my own schedule.

    Cons

    Can be isolating as work from home online. Salary is low with no bonuses. Health care plan not very good.

    Advice to Management

    Better communication on targets for recruitment. Improve upper management skills so can get the team to work more efficiently. More vacation days.


  2. "Review"

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

    I have been working at The Open University part-time

    Pros

    Very rewarding place to work.
    Having worked with the OU for eight years I have found it to be a good employer

    Cons

    Some recent job insecurity as student numbers are falling

  3. "Student Services review"

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

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Staff within teams/department are good to work with and helpful.

    Cons

    Significant management changes every year
    External consultants brought in yearly


  4. "Linux system administration"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Programmer in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Programmer in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Open University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Public sector pension and benefits and hundreds of servers to gain experiences on.as it also is profit making youhave comercial big company experience

    Cons

    Pay is not higher end and the business is assessed by senior business people who themselves pay for the business profits by being clients themselves


  5. "A great organisation but a period of uncertainty and necessary change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Srsc in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Srsc in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Really great people who care about students and are proud to work for OU, good culture, supportive management and reasonable perks, especially annual leave. I have worked at similar organisations and there is a lot worse out there!

    Cons

    Systems & processes outdated, admin heavy and obviously there are big changes afoot meaning there will be undoubted redundancies which will be a real shame.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the right people are involved in identifying the improvements that need to be made at all levels. There really needs to be a clear long term strategy and don't get lost in the cost cutting. I know there will be reinvestment in technology but don't forget to reinvest in the workforce who are facing a challenging time. Marketing strategy could be much improved. Marketing need to learn from those on the front line far more effectively.


  6. "Student support advisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Student Services in Manchester, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Student Services in Manchester, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great holidays, great people who genuinely care

    Cons

    Can't get time off, recently combined 2 roles and still in transitional period
    Calls not routed correctly


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Insecure and chaotic, but rewarding work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Lecturer in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Associate Lecturer in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Get to teach earnest, conscientious students, mainly home based so flexible as work to own timetable, occasionally get to meet students at face-to-face tutorials, fee waivers for university study, free access to online journals

    Cons

    Really isolating as work solo, rarely get to meet colleagues and discuss work; no career progression in fact the opposite as increasing redundancies; in 7 years still in the same position teaching the same module regardless of effort; career development opportunities non-existent; expected to do a lot of work unpaid.

    Advice to Management

    Consider your lecturers' other commitments before upping the workload, offer more opportunities for research, offer more opportunities for ALs to meet socially every now and again.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "A University in crisis again"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Manager in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Location, free parking, annual leave of 33 days, supportive manager

    Cons

    Too many changes, too quickly, ineffective VC who spends more time polishing his BAFTA's

    Advice to Management

    The clue is in the name 'University'. It's not a business. Having employed the current and previous VC with no Education experience, the OU needs to go back to its core roots. Peter "look at my BAFTA's" Horrocks has made major changes in 2 years, bad decisions and is now putting staff under more worry and stress with OU Redesign. Senior staff have no clue what they are doing apart from running what was once a great british institution, further deep into the ground.


  9. "Underated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Open University full-time

    Pros

    Team environment - everyone feels like they're working towards the same goal
    Modern facilities
    Great people - a lot of out-of-work socializing, people look out for each other

    Cons

    Can be over-fixated on doing things as they always have been and slow to try/attempt new things.

    Advice to Management

    Greater flexibility in approaches to things. If there is a need for jumping through bureaucratic hoops it's often poorly/not explained to staff leading to frustration.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "overly relaxed work environment - not suited to eager young professionals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Officer Engineering in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Project Officer Engineering in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    relaxed environment - no micromanaging

    Cons

    personal opinion - getting jobs done between departments takes forever


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