University Campus Co-operatives

IG Ilana Gotz Public Seen by 52

Hello all,
Does anyone have any research, information, or materials about university co-ops in any country? In particular, examples (inlcuding support received in terms of facilities, finance, etc) and laws (Conditions, regulations, and laws for establishment of University Cooperatives and their support)? Or even just marketing materials?
Thank you,


Elena Limnios Thu 19 Mar 2015 2:39PM

Hi Ilana, one of our Cooperative Enterprise Research Unit members is a colleague at Mondragon University in Spain, which is a cooperative university. I can contact her and ask for this information, if you could please expand on the reason for the request, and how this information is going to be used? Alternatively I suspect that
some of this information may be freely available online.


Ilana Gotz Thu 19 Mar 2015 2:51PM

Hi Elena,
Actually it's a request that comes from a Federation in Korea looking for ways to help raise support for university co-ops, meaning co-operatives operating at universities on behalf of the university community - not cooperative universities. Sorry for the confusion!


Dr.M.Karthikeyan Thu 19 Mar 2015 3:27PM

Hi Elena
Cooperative Greetings!
Do u mean coop university or campus coops within the university organised by students/staff...?
If u mean coop University - In India (Assam State) There is one Cooperative University in the name of former PM HE Rajiv Gandhi.
If u mean SACCOs, Consumer coops, student coops, i may send u details.
Pl. send me an outline infn needed.
Actually I hv seen your message by now.
We have consumer coop in our university. If u want any infn pl send me an outline.


Rory Ridley-Duff (SHU) Thu 19 Mar 2015 3:44PM

I think the query is about campus co-operatives, rather the universities as co-operatives. I have three contacts in Asia who may be able to help.

[email protected] (State University of Indonesia, Jakarta) - she described both student and staff co-operative to me, which are not interlinked. One is for staff (savings coop, I think), and the student one is for food/retail.

[email protected]
Prof Yamamoto (Kwasei Gaukin University, Osaka) - he showed me the co-operative retail / book shop on campus. Both students and staff join it (much like the Harvard Coop Bookshop, I guess).

[email protected] (UBAYA University, Java, Indonesia) - he described a finance/retail co-operative enterprise that operates both within and beyond the university campus. It won an award from its host city.

I've alerted them and invited them to the forum.

Best wishes


Ilana Gotz Mon 23 Mar 2015 9:51AM

Hi all,
Yes Rory, that's right. It's a request that comes from a Federation in Korea looking for ways to help raise support for university/campus co-ops, meaning co-operatives operating at universities on behalf of the university community - not cooperative universities. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the contacts!


eamlc Thu 9 Apr 2015 9:05PM

These are the top two groups I would suggest that both sound most similar to what Korean universities have and have experienced tremendous success:
--> COOPSCO (campus retail) in Francophone Canada (http://www.coopsco.com/), they are typically well connected to the university and, because of their size, have a lot of power in relations with the universities.
--> Solidarite Etudiante (campus food/retail) in France (http://www.solidariteetudiante.fr/), they are more autonomous within the university system, though are on campus.

In the US, we have an association that includes some campus housing cooperatives (nasco.coop), and a group that supports students building campus food businesses (cofed.org). Both of these groups focus on organizing the students into creating more autonomous and independent cooperatives, and much less on how to work with the university to create a coop over which the university would exercise a great deal of control.

In Puerto Rico, there are cooperatives in secondary education through which the students essentially employ (adult) staff to provide services to the school (e.g. janitorial, food prep). I really like this model! :)


George Cheney Sat 11 Apr 2015 7:53PM

Hi all,

Two things:

1) I've requested detailed information from colleagues in the Lanki Cooperative Institute about the cooperative structure of Mondragon University.

2) There are at least two cooperative student movements re: food on US campuses:


www.cofed.coop : The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive




Ilana Gotz Mon 13 Apr 2015 8:42AM

Thanks everyone for all the great feedback! I will pass along the information.


Hugh Donnelly Tue 14 Apr 2015 10:09AM





for some Scottish examples

There are obviously long standing student housing co-ops across USA and the venerable Harvard Coop


Joss Winn Thu 16 Apr 2015 2:00PM

George, There are a couple of articles that offer some insight into Mondragon University:

Wright, S. et al (2011) Report on a field visit to 
Mondragón University:
 a cooperative experience/experiment. Learning and Teaching. Vol. 4, Issue 3.

Matthews, David (2013) Inside a co-operative university. Times Higher Education, 29th August 2013.

There's also information in Mondragon's Annual Report

For those who are interested, I maintain a bibliography on co-operative higher education/co-operative universities.

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