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University of Durham Reviews

Updated January 6, 2018
70 reviews

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4.0
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Anne Galbraith
15 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Career progression is neer to impossible, senior staff is unhelpful (in 3 reviews)

  • Disorganised; low wages; very poor work/life balance; overworked but underpaid (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "An unhappy working environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Many interesting and enthusiastic students who were very pleasant to teach. A very picturesque setting.

    Cons

    Management is very heavey handed and pays little attention to the needs of their employees. This led to a very unhappy working environment in the department in which I worked. Very poor communication from management also led to great difficulties in performing my job.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that staff are not mind readers and need to be told what you want. When staff tell you what they need to do their job, please listen. Provide staff with the basic materials and facilities to do their jobs.


  2. "Bad Administration"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Durham part-time

    Pros

    The departments are full of lovely people and most of the staff are truly there to provide a good student experience. Unfortunately this is often stymied by administration. Most of my issues with this company are all to do with administration and nothing to do with what the university is truly here to do. The teaching is fantastic, the hours are good, the community is supportive.

    Cons

    Class differences are rife, HR rarely processes your paperwork properly--I had emergency tax taken out for months even though I filled out the necessary paperwork *multiple* times. There is no communication between different arms of the administration. Immigration doesn't use the same computer systems as HR so you have to have your documentation checked by two different departments at different times of the year rather than using the same system. If they mess up your pay (which they do more often than they should because of simple clerical errors such as typing the numbers into the wrong column) they won't give you the money until your next paycheck (which is monthly) unless you can prove to them you have a 'dire need' of the money. The university is consistently trying to centralize everything which is a complete nightmare. If a lightbulb needs changing in a college area, it won't get attention for *months* because it all has to go through central estates and buildings. Heating is done on a computer system that at one point got *deleted* from the university's program. The regulations have recently changed so that any university event has to use central catering instead of supporting local businesses in the area and the prices and quality for in-house food are sub-par. Often it seems the university hires individuals into managerial positions in various capacities in administration who do not do their jobs properly or strive to provide for a better experience and yet these individuals are never fired or trained to be better.

    Advice to Management

    See cons.

  3. "The problem is not the University of Durharm, but the career in academia/astrophysics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Durham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Durham, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Strong and productive astronomy group

    Cons

    No stability perspectives, very poor possibilities to even extend a post-doc contract. Attitude of individuals to emerge is stronger than work-group in general.


  4. "student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    they make you work hard

    Cons

    it was far from home


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Assistant Professor (Research)"

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

    I have been working at University of Durham full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Scenic city; affordable living standard

    Cons

    Disorganised; low wages; very poor work/life balance; overworked but underpaid


  6. "PDRA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Located in a charming, wonderful city. The facilities are excellent.

    Cons

    Career progression is neer to impossible, senior staff is unhelpful

    Advice to Management

    More focus should be on research


  7. "Elitest but beautiful"

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

    I have been working at University of Durham full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    High academic quality. You need to be good to work here and the pressure is on to produce quality. It's great to be amongst such clever colleagues.

    Cons

    Not much social diversity. A university for rich kids.

    Advice to Management

    Management is good. They pander to equality issues but really this is a university for the privileged.

  8. "Good university, pretty but small city"

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

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

    Pros

    Good infrastructure, beautiful city, good academics

    Cons

    Very strong hierarchy, more secrecy than I was used to for a US institution


  9. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Durham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Durham, England (UK)
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good working environment, student centred environment. Building work currently taking place to modernise large sections of the campus, which improves the environment.

    Cons

    Lots of building work currently taking place, which leads to disruption of various parts of the campus and makes moving around difficult at times.

    Advice to Management

    It is good that the environment is being improved, which will enhance the student experience. More parking spaces would be good.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Ambitious theoretically but limited by budget and management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Durham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Durham, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Durham full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good area of the country for work/life balance
    Modern campus

    Cons

    Old boys club is prevalent in committees and promotion/recruitment schemes
    Slightly delusional management team who are far too proud of their modest achievements
    Too many senior staff not willing to lecture leaving junior staff overwhelmed with teaching committments.

    Advice to Management

    Foster young talent rather than recruiting "senior staff" looking for a final pay-day.


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