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Mike Neary and Joss Winn


This report provides an interim account of a participatory action research project undertaken during 2015–16. The research brought together scholars, students and expert members of the co-operative movement to design a theoretically informed and practically grounded framework for co-operative higher education that activists, educators and the co-operative movement could take forward into implementation. Our dual roles in the research were as founding members of the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, an autonomous co-operative for higher education constituted in 2011 (), and as professional researchers working at the University of Lincoln. The immediate context for the research was, and remains, the ‘assault’ on universities in the U.K. (), the ‘gamble’ being taken with the future of higher education (), and the ‘pedagogy of debt’ () that has been imposed through the removal of public funding of teaching and the concurrent tripling of tuition fees ().