Mike Neary and I were invited to write about our work on co-operative higher education for the journal, FORUM. It’s part of a special issue: ‘For a New Public Education in a New Public School’. Here’s our abstract:
Calls to establish public education avoid the fact that public education is provided by the capitalist state whose real purpose is the market-based model of private gain. Public against private education is a false dichotomy; rather, public and private are complementary forms of capitalist regulation. Radical alternatives require a more foundational critique of the structures of capitalist education, grounded in an understanding of the contradictory relationship between capital and labour on which the institutions of capitalist civilisation are based. This article suggests a counter project: not public education but social knowing as the basis for a solidaristic form of social life. Our model for social knowing starts with the idea of a co-operative university.
Download the article from FORUM journal.
Mike Neary and I were invited to reflect on the Social Science Centre (SSC) for the Italian journal, Roars Transactions. Here’s the abstract.
The Social Science Centre, Lincoln (SSC), is a co-operative organising free higher education in the city of Lincoln, England. It was formed in 2011 by a group of academics and students in response to the massive rise in student fees, from £3000 to £9000, along with other government policies that saw the increasing neo-liberalisation of English universities. In this essay we chart the history of the SSC and what it has been like to be a member of this co-operative; but we also want to express another aspect of the centre which we have not written about: the existence of the SSC as an intellectual idea and how the idea has spread and been developed through written publications by members of the centre and by research on the centre by other non-members: students, academics and journalists. At the end of the essay we will show the most up to date manifestation of the idea, the plans to create a co-operative university with degree awarding powers where those involved, students and academics, can make a living as part of an independent enterprise ran and owned by its members for their benefit and the benefit of their community and society.
Download the essay. Read more about the SSC.