Values, Aims and Principles

All of the work we do at Students for Cooperation is guided by our values, aims, and principles which were first developed and approved by our member co-operatives in 2014. They are based in part on the International Co-operative Alliances’ Statement on Co-operative Identity.


Students for Cooperation is built on the values of self-helpself-responsibilitydemocracymutual aidequalityequity, sustainability and solidarity. We believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.


Students for Cooperation aims to:

  • Support and encourage the establishment of new student co-operatives.
  • Help existing student cooperatives to prosper.
  • Encourage active co-operation between student co-operatives.
  • Promote the student co-operative movement to the wider co-operative movement and the world.
  • Organise and promote participatory education through knowledge and skills sharing events, informative resources, training and workshops.
  • Secure finance for student cooperatives to further take democratic control of resources through co-operation.
  • Support like-minded projects and campaigns which align with at least some of the principles and values of Students for Cooperation.


Students for Cooperation stands by the co-operative principles of:

    1. Voluntary and Open Membership

      Students for Cooperation is a voluntary membership organisation, open to all student co-operatives able to use our services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, religious or any other form of discrimination.

    2. Democratic Member Control

      Students for Cooperation is a democratic organisation controlled by our Member Co-ops, who actively participate in setting our policies and making decisions. Elected delegates are accountable to their fellow members.

    3. Member Economic Participation

      Member Co-ops contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of Students for Cooperation. Member Co-ops allocate Students for Cooperation’s surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing Students for Cooperation and Members Co-ops, possibly by setting up reserves, and supporting other activities and aims approved by the Member Co-ops.

    4. Autonomy and Independence

      Students for Cooperation is an autonomous, self-help organisation controlled by our Member Co-ops. If we enter into agreements with other organisations or raise capital from external sources, we do so on terms that ensure democratic control by our Member Co-ops and maintains our co-operative autonomy.

    5. Education, Training and Information

      Students for Cooperation will provide education and training for our Member Co-ops and their respective members, elected delegates, and any employees so we can all contribute effectively to the development of our cooperatives and Students for Cooperation. We will inform the general public – particularly young people – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

    6. Co-operation among Cooperatives

      Students for Cooperation serves our Member Co-ops most effectively and strengthens the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

    7. Concern for Community

      Students for Cooperation works for the sustainable development of our communities through policies approved by our Member Co-ops.

Click here to download a .pdf version of our Values, Aims and Principles policy.