Great place, great people

The University is proud to be an employer of choice.  We were named as one of Top 5 universities in the Times Higher Best University Workplace survey in both 2013 and 2014 and have been recognised in a variety of surveys and awards.

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Sunderland Facts

As well as our generous benefits and flexible working opportunities, we offer the opportunity to deliver a public service within higher education, contributing to our excellent student experience and working in a stimulating campus environment.

To find out what our staff say about us see our Staff Testimonials below.

You can also see our Fact Sheet about Sunderland and watch videos featuring our staff.

Elsewhere on the University website you can find:

What our staff say

Don't just take our word for it.  In our most recent Staff Survey, 90% of staff said that they were proud to work for the institution and 92% said they would recommend us to a friend as a place to work.

To hear directly from our staff take a look at our videos.


For more videos about the University see our YouTube channel.

You can find more testimonials from our staff below.

This page was published on 8 May 2019

Lee Hall - Head of School of Media and Communications

Lee joined the University in 2010, fresh from a career in journalism. Lee talks about his experience at the University "I have learned from research leaders and talented peers. Over the years the University has invested in me; supported me to travel to Chicago and China; enabled me to stay active as a journalist. A couple of promotions later, as head of school, I feel more valued than ever. I have an inspirational mentor, access to coaching and a development programme, and great staff. These are exciting times and I am proud to play a part in shaping the University’s bright future.

Jody Duckett - Project Manager

Jody joined the University in March 2015 after deciding to both relocate to the North East with her family and change her career following 9 years as a teacher. Jody explains "The role I secured was as a Finance Assistant within Facilities on a 6 month fixed term contract, following a number of fixed term roles I secured a permanent position as a Faculty and Service Finance Assistant within the university’s central finance service. Shortly after, I was seconded into a Project Team for the implementation of a new finance system. I am now a Project Manager within Technical Services and am being supported in my professional development through an Associate Project Manager Level 4 apprenticeship. The University is an extremely supportive employer and I have benefited through training, redeployment and the flexible working policy. The support is one of the main reasons I enjoy working here.

Claire Defty - Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project Manager

Claire joined the University to deliver the SAM Project, utilising her previous experience within manufacturing. "The University community have been exceptionally welcoming and I would not hesitate to recommend the University as an employer with fair and beneficial working terms and conditions."

Paul Jackson - Human Resources Business Partner

"The University of Sunderland is a great place to develop your career and this is something I have definitely experienced first hand. I joined the University quite early in my HR career and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to have lots of opportunities to develop my career and professional skills. This has included a variety of promotion opportunities, funding to undertake professional qualifications, an opportunity to live and work in London whilst leading the development of an brand new HR function for our campus in London and more recently supporting the development of our new Medical School. I would therefore thoroughly recommend University of Sunderland as a great place to work, where we all put the student at the heart of all that we do and have lots of great opportunities to be part of the ongoing success and growth of our institution."

Amal Elkordy - Associate Professor (Research)

Amal has worked for the University for 12 years. Amal talks about her experience of working in the University. "The University gives me the opportunity to be innovative and to be an effective member in changing my life and students’ lives for better careers. The University of Sunderland empowers women in all aspects and fields. I have found the University provides equal opportunities for everyone regardless of race, religion or gender. I am always passionate about what I do with the flexible working provided and with the great support from colleagues ensuring the best experience for students. The up to date facilities at this University continue to expand attracting both national and international Students. My future is looking very bright in the University of Sunderland.”

Lynne McKenna - Academic Dean Faculty of Education and Society

Lynne was appointed to the role of Academic Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society in March 2018 and explains her affinity with the institution. "I was delighted to take up the position of Academic Dean in the very institution where I trained to be a teacher and which set me off on my varied career in education. I have an immense affinity with the values of the University, particularly around its commitment to widening participation, raising aspirations, and equality and diversity. The university is a very ‘people focussed’ place to work. Inspiring and empowering staff is integral to the values of the University and is one of the reasons that I am proud to work for a university that is truly ‘life-changing’."

Alison Starke - Finance Coordinator

"I’ve been with the University for 27 years. I joined Sunderland Polytechnic (as it was back then) working as a library assistant at Chester Road library (now Murray library). I then moved across to Ashburne library in 1992 where I stayed for a further 8 years. In the year 2000 I decided on a career change & applied for a job in Finance. I was successful and began a new role as an Income Clerk at Mowbray Villas. Along with a building change, Finance underwent a slight restructure in 2007 where I was then offered a position in Accountancy. I accepted & have been working in Financial Accounts ever since, currently seconded in a Finance Co-ordinator role. I have had 3 children during my time here and the maternity package the University offers is great. Along with the flexible working policy I’ve always felt I have had a good work/life balance."

Daniel Wilson - Solutions Analyst

Daniel started working at the university in 2003 on a Modern Apprenticeship scheme, Daniel talks about how he has progressed from an apprentice to part of the Senior Management Team; "I started working at the University as a very young IT Technician to complete the last 6 months of my Modern Apprenticeship, within 4 months I was successful in gaining full time permanent employment in the university’s IT department as an IT Systems Assistant. From the outset, my line manager, coached me providing practical and creative training and learning opportunities to progress my skills, experience and qualifications. I have had a fulfilling fast-paced IT career at the university so far, over the year I was given a wider remit of responsibilities, including people management. I now form part of the senior technical management team as a Solutions Analyst leading a team of talented IT Systems Developers. During my time at the university I have had so many opportunities to make a real impact on shaping and improving the IT services used by staff and students here, which no doubt will have directly influenced university culture and the student learning experience. The university provides fantastic staff benefits, these include competitive salaries, generous holidays, professional staff development and flexible working, which I am actively involved in trying to improve with the Digital First agenda."