Plans for a new International Cooperative University?

Members of the UNIKE project have been interviewed about their plans for a Cooperative University. Inspired by Mondragon University, they intend to create a new Cooperative University, or convert an existing regional campus into a cooperative institution when the new HE Bill is passed in England, according to a recent article in the Times Higher.

A number of possibilities are mentioned, including a form of the John Lewis Trust model, as posited by Rebecca Boden, Susan Wright (both members of the UNIKE team) and Penelope Ciancanelli in their 2012 paper Trust Universities? Governance for Post-Capitalist Futures (available in Joss Winn’s Cooperative HE bibliography). They also appear to be countenancing the conversion of existing institutions, which I identified as the most probable route in my Consultancy report for the Cooperative College. But that was before the cooperative possibilities raised by the Higher Education and Research Bill became apparent.

It will be interesting to see what the group’s next action is. Since the government appears to be pushing ahead with this Bill, they may get their chance quite soon.



Boden, R., Ciancanelli, P., & Wright, S. (2012) Trust Universities? Governance for Post-Capitalist Futures. Journal of Co-operative Studies, Volume 45, Number 2, Autumn 2012, pp. 16-24(9)

Bothwell, E. (2016, August 17). Plan to ‘recreate public higher education’ in cooperative university. Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved from

Cook, D. (2013). Realising the Cooperative University (Consultancy report). The Co-operative College & The Institute of Education, University of London. Retrieved from

Cook, D. (2016, June 21). What does the HE and Research Bill mean for the prospect of Cooperative Universities? Retrieved from

Javid, S. Higher Education and Research Bill, Pub. L. No. 4 (2016). Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s