University of Essex Reviews | Glassdoor

University of Essex Reviews

Updated April 6, 2017
31 reviews

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3.4
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University of Essex Vice-Chancellor Anthony Forster
Anthony Forster
14 Ratings

31 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Primitive, arrogant leadership, uncivilised environment"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice, green and quiet campus, Colchester and Wivenhoe are pleasant places

    Cons

    Arrogance and ignorance penetrate the place, coming from the top. I had a horrible line manager: power-mad, shifty, who spread lies about my employment, ignored my work and tried to undermine me. I was bullied and then dismissed unfairly, for trying to assert a statutory right. Management supports hierarchy even at the expense of breaching the Employment Law. Staff are often intimidated. Managers do not seem to be aware of the Employment Law, hence the University of Essex recently lost a few cases at Employment Tribunals. The practice is often the opposite of the declared values. Those who speak up risk losing their jobs. The situation reminds one of the double speak as described in Orwell's novel titled 1984. Another quotation from Orwell which summarizes the situation at Essex truthfully is the following: "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others." Complete lack of respect for democratic values, or of the values established during the enlightenment. Feels like a feudal system, where landlords exercise absolute, unchallenged power. Working there is like a time travel to an era centuries ago.

    Advice to Management

    Unsuited to role, change career.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "The University of Essex - to avoid if you care about your sanity!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Professor in Colchester, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Professor in Colchester, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Essex full-time

    Pros

    I worked in EBS for 6 years, where I made some good friends and unfortunately crossed the path of some nasty characters who would smile in your face and back stab you (i.e stay away from hypocrites who would step on you to gain favours). If you want a promotion, then you have to lick and polish, and learn to say “Yes sir” at Essex.
    The place is crowded with sour grapes. I shall elaborate a little, why. As with many universities, there is little opportunity to move up the academic ladder. The problem at Essex is worse. Senior management (the VC, Pro-VCs, Deans) are keen to attract external candidates with weaker CVs than promote existing staff with better research, teaching and administration profile. Evidently, those who can leave move to greener pastures, and those who love power or do not have an excellent profile stay. Senior management at Essex don’t match pay (except those who lick and politick with the VC, Pro-VCs and Dean).
    The VC, ProVCs and Deans are keen to bully certain staff by selectively targeting and downgrading them to Teaching Fellows (Teaching Fellows enjoy less perks than those on Research and Teaching contract). Sometime Deans are not spared e.g. Some Professors who contribute significantly to administration and provide excellent leadership had their contract changed from “Research and Teaching” to “Teaching” only. Well, you can guess about the fate of those on the lower rung of the academic ladder.
    On a positive note, there is a nice pond and ducks which are help with alleviating any stress build up or impending mental breakdown.
    The place is not bad, the people are!
    There was a mass resignation in the Business school (about 8 academics in one subject group, including me, resigned). As an optimist, I never say never, but I shall make an exception in the case of EBS - Well, I still commute from Colchester due to family commitments, but won't go back :).
    Career-wise, leaving Essex is one of best things that ever happened to me. I got an increment of £20k, a promotion, better colleagues, and am treated with respect (as I do to others). The grass is not always greener the other side, but sometimes it may well be. Choose wisely!!!

    Cons

    The VCs and Pro-VCs are out of touch with reality.
    Poor leadership, ironically in Essex Business School.
    Once they got you, you can forget about any increment.

    Advice to Management

    The animals have taken over the farm.
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Don't stay more than a couple of years"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Officer in Colchester, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Officer in Colchester, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Essex full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice lake - now overshadowed by another ugly grey building. Nice food outlets but too expensive. Nice staff - to your face. Nice management - if you kiss their feet. Nice students - unhappy bunch of teaching staff. Hidden, unhelpful and unhealthy support staff. Lack of progression, if they let you do it, its because they're too lazy to do it themselves - don't expect a jump up the ladder for it. Best Department...IT Support maybe???

    Cons

    In a sentence, they have one unhappy workforce judging by the amount of backstabbing that goes on, particularly in the Business School. Haven't seen many positive reviews except those 'prepared' by Marketing, cleaners, students or PhD research staff! As the old saying goes, when the times get tough the good go first! Take what you can get and don't linger too long. It is the kind of place where you can become institutionalised trying to please but the rewards and progression aren't worth the wait if they come at all. If you do work here, quickly identify the greys and watch your back.

    Advice to Management

    They need to get rid and start afresh. This place does not value you and it is not welcoming of 'critical' or 'questioning' as the ads say.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Stay away if you can"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Colchester, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Colchester, England (UK)
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good working hours
    Simple working practise

    Cons

    no career progression.
    Lots of people in union related posts not doing any work

    Advice to Management

    get rid of redundant and too much old staff


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Senior management are ruthless out of touch beancounters"

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

    Pros

    nice location if you have kids. Good for social sciences but not much else.

    Cons

    Senior management are trying to run a University as if it is a call centre.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your staff. Value your human capital. Don't treat academics as if they are interchangable cogs in a vast machine.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Alice in Wonderland"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Professional Services in Colchester, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Professional Services in Colchester, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice lakes, still some nice long term staff there still and many operational heads trying to manage. Some are favoured more. Work Life balance, holidays and pension always excellent at any University as mandatory.

    Cons

    Price hikes on campus for students and staff probably due to the wasted money on lots of temporary staff and buildings and abandoned projects like the energy one. Once a well managed place now 'well if you dont like it leave' attitude from the top. No pay rises.

    Advice to Management

    The very top level management are not showing competence. Theres been a lot of embarrassment with projects, staff leaving and morale, and your surveys are just a witch hunt. You need to talk to a wider range of staff more and ask questions. The last top management did.


  8. "Supervisor"

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

    Pros

    On campus makes it easier

    Cons

    No salary raise in 3 years


  9. "good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    usual university benefits, close to london

    Cons

    slow bureacratic setup, research focus varies between groups and departments


  10. "PhD student"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Essex part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The departments are small so it's easy to get to see people you need to speak to and most people are very helpful. There has been a lot of new development recently so many if the facilities are new ... Eg computer meeting areas in one of the many cafés on campus.

    Cons

    It's not one of the top Academic institutions or in London so you can feel a bit out of touch with the front line. The small size can mean some facilities are lacking but research is geared towards the facilities they do have.


  11. "Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great Opportunities to get obtain further skills and Knowledge through the learning and development scheme.

    Good working enviroment

    Cons

    Not as much room for progression, as you would like



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