University Co-operatives in the Global Perspective (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
(Source : Paper presented at the University Co-operative Seminar held in Seoul, Korea, 26-27 June, 1997)

University Co-operatives in the Global Perspective
by W.U. Herath*

 (This paper was presented by Mr. Herath at the University
Co-operative Seminar held from 26 to 27 June, 1997 in Seoul, South
Korea, sponsored by the Korea Consumers Co-operative Federation)

1.	Preamble
The subject assigned to me has a vast coverage across the continents.
Therefore, its is necessary to be selective in providing information in
order to be useful for the purpose and the interests of the occasion.
Firstly, I would make a distinction between the school based children's
co-operatives which again a wider practices and confine my self to the
either University or College based co-operatives for detailed discussion.

Secondly, I would not deal with the community based youth
co-operatives or school leavers co-operative which are prevalent in
many countries. Another aspect is that I will only be citing
the presence of university  co-operatives in Japan and Korea, as there
are other sessions dealing with these two countries in detail.

The presentation would deal with the historical aspects of the university co-operative movement and current issues faced. The
relationship with the mainstream co-operative structure too will be
discussed. I hope that this will serve the purpose and would generate a

2.	Historical Perspectives
One of the concerns of the pioneers of the modern co-operative
movement was the oppression of children by factory owners during
the industrial revolution in the 19th century. Robert own father of the
modern concept of co-operation, confronted child labour and the
deprivation of children's schooling. In his St Lennark experiment he
introduced many facilities for workers' children's welfare including
health and education. The school system he introduced was radical
enough to confront the existing teacher dominated English Grammar
School system. His selection of teachers was also carefully undertaken
to get more facilitating type of persons by imposing certain values for
section. They should respect the dignity of children and should be able
to introduce activities that would help exploration of creative ability.
The experiments found the ideas for humanist school of educational
concepts later. The self governance of schools by children as in the case
of Summerhill (England) and current experiment by `Konsum' public
school in Stockholm are clear examples.

The concern for developing young co-operators continued throughout
the history of British Co-operative Movement started from Rochdale
Pioneers. They made a rule in 1892 to set apart a proportion of their
trading surpluses for educational purposes which included children of
the members too.

Supported by the British Co-operative Union, the Co-operative Youth
Movement (CAM) was formed in 1941 with the growing number of
young co-operative groups. The CAM caters to three categories of
young co-operators:
1.	Co-operative Playways (later called Junior Path Finders) from
07 to 10 years
2.	Co-operative Path Finders - From 11 to 14 years
3.	Co-operative Youth Clubs - From 15 to 20 years

The Woodcraft Folk, also established by co-operatives in 1940 has
about 700 groups in UK at present.

However, the special feature in UK is the absence of a school or college
co-operative movement. A study conducted by UNESCO explains `It is thought that the structure of the British Co-operative Movement, which is closely connected to the working class, has alienated the established school system, thus relegating the co-operative principles outside the schools'. (Report of the Symposium on Schools and Co-operatives 1979. ICA/UNESCO)

This structure of young co-operative groups has functioned as a
community based youth co-operative movement supported by the local co-operatives as well. The agenda was more a educational one,
occasionally supporting vocational groups. These groups were not
campus oriented.

There has been a parallel development of youth co-operatives in
Americas. One of the first campus co-operatives, Harvard coop was
founded in 1882m when a group of Harvard under graduates pooled
their resources to save money on text books and other necessities. The
student co-operatives affiliated to US Colleges have grown in large

The Student Co-operatives of universities and colleges have crossed the
boundaries too. By 1906, there had been a visible growth of students
co-operatives in Canada too. Later, the students co-operatives in the US and Canada have come together and formed the North American
Students of Co-operation in 1968.

The first known students' co-operative union in Asia has been identified with Doshisha University cooperative in Japan which was established in 1898. Although the movement was growing, the university co-operatives in Japan had a set back during the Second World War, with cancellations, but revived with the establishment of the university co-operative in Tokyo after the war. The National Federation of University Co-operative Association (NFUCA) was formed in 1946 and has grown as the largest national network of university co-operatives in the world.

Besides these movements, pre war co-operatives for young people in
Asia are found in school co-operatives established in India and Sri
Lanka, which are still operating with mixed results. All the other
countries have started working on the students co-operatives after the

Historically, campus based co-operatives emerged under different
economic, social and educational circumstances. They took different
forms with emphasis on economic, social and/or educational objectives.
They had links to the main stream co-operative movement which has
been community based, but never was an integrated part of it except in
the case of Japan.

3.	Present Status of University  Co-operatives
a.	Americas:
	Known as Book Store Co-operatives, the students co-operatives selling books and stationary are more popular among the Colleges in the USA. There are about 60 such co-operatives having a membership of 350000 students around the country. These co-operatives provide supplies to smaller book stores. As an example, the Collegiate Stores Co-operative of Northbridge, California, has 200 member stores, and has an annual turnover of US$ 1.2 Billion. The coop was set up by 14 Coop book stores in 1988 and serves 2.4 million students. The Harvard Co-op, which is the biggest one, has a membership of 125000.

In addition there are different types of co-operatives set up by the
students serving various needs. Housing co-operatives, credit unions,
computer co-operatives, and bicycle repair co-operatives and workers
collectives are popular among students. They have even established
fraternity purchasing co-operatives.

Canadian students co-operative movement too has the beginnings during early part of the century. School co-operatives are most popular, as the co-operative way of life in the community has been incorporated into school group activities too.

Some of the  provinces such Ontario and Nova Scotia have promoted
credit co-operatives, and consumer co-operative specialising the
restaurants, book shops and vocational guidance from primary school
up to high school level. Community based co-operatives too provide
training in co-operative entrepreneurship for the students nearing
graduation. There is strong community involvement in co-operative
education in the school system in Canada. The Co-operators Group, an
insurance co-operative has a wider youth development programme.

North American Students in Co-operation functions for benefit of the
students co-operatives in both countries. Its main service has been
housing for college students. NASCO carries out annual `Institutes'
which provide opportunities for members to share experiences, discuss
problem and learning on various aspects of managing a co-operative.

Other countries in Americas do not have established students
co-operative movements.

Another phenomenon in the North American universities is the
inclusion of co-operation as an optional subject in all streams of
education - Social sciences, Science and Medicine.

b.	Asia and the Pacific:
	Asian students co-operative movements have been established
from the last decide of the 19th century up to current times. Vietnam
has been the latest country which is engaged in the establishment of
university co-operatives.

These co-operatives are also in different stages of development.
Therefore, one could see small one store type college co-operatives as
well as coop networks with several stores and different services to the
student community.

Australia :	Australia is one the countries participated at the
founding meeting of the ICA in 1895, thus claims as one of the oldest
co-operative movements in the Region. It has a long history of
agricultural and credit co-operatives and worker co-operatives too are
popular among young people. Youth has about 17% labour
participation, but during recent years of recession has created

In the absence of the national level federation, the national statistics are
difficult to be obtained. Australia has incorporated co-operation as a
subject in the curriculum in the schools in many states. Victoria state
has taken steps to set up school co-operatives. Few co-operatives,
(Marlborough producers and recycling coop and project recycling in
Western Australia etc.) had spilled over effect in the community too.

Pre-co-operative education in the vocational training institutes has also
been introduced in some states.

India :	India lacks statistics on the number and types of student
co-operatives. It has been estimated through a recent study sponsored
by the University Coop Sub- Committee of the ICA ROAP that there
are about 12000 such co-operatives in the country. Although the origins goes to early part of the century, the best period for promoting the student co-operative was from 1960 when the government had a special project. In addition to the formal co-operative, there exists large number of self help groups. The membership of the students coops is about 2 million.

The main activities of these co-operative are to provide consumer goods and credit to the members. These co-operative are managed by a mixed committee consisting of students and teachers. Sometimes, the staff in the colleges too are elected as the membership is open to them.
Patronage by the college authorities through provision of buildings and
equipment is by and large satisfactory.

The only state level federation of student co-operatives functions in
Kerala state, which engages in marginal joint buying activities.

India was able to hold one seminar on university co-operatives with the
assistance of the University Coop Sub Committee of the ICA ROAP.
Since then 5 regional seminars have been held and a national forum to
establish a national level organisation for university co-operatives is
under way. However, the university co-operative system in India is
very weak and is in the formative stage.

Indonesia:	The students co-operatives in Indonesia is of a recent
origin, the first such co-operative being Koperasi Mahasiswa
Universitas Brawijaya, which was started in 1976. It was one of the
activities of Students Council (DEMA) but DEMA was terminated by
the government. As the student exchange was retained as a continuation
from DEMA, the university coop was set with the inheritance from
DEMA. The first activities were credit, stationary shop and photo
copying facilities. It has grown into a large organisation with 138
employees at present, and functions, as a democratic organisation. It
maintain following services : Credit Union, book store, souvenir shop,
telecommunication shop, youth hostel computer training centre and a
boarding house. 

Youth co-operative movement has grown for number of years and has
strong position today among the other co-operatives of Indonesia.
There are 133 university co-operatives at present federated into
Indonesian Youth Co-operative Federation (KOPINDO) which was
established in 1981. Other than university co-operatives, there are
youth co-operatives (68), Scout Co-operatives (60), and School
Co-operatives (38033). KOPINDO has 74 members out of these other
types other than university co-operatives.

KOPINDO has succeeded in getting into travel business as well as
other enterprises that reach the community such as management
consultancy, garment industry and developer and contractor.

Indonesian university co-operatives have more liberal attitude towards
the membership enrolment and some them provide automatic
membership to all university students. KOPINDO and some other
coops have elaborate training programmes for members on
entrepreneurship, management and co-operative theory and practices.

Networking among university co-operatives is growing and joint
purchasing of selected commodities such as stationary, coffee, and
general goods has been successfully attempted. Indonesian university
co-operatives closely follow the Japanese university co-operative

Japan : 	Growth of university co-operatives in Japan was in
consistent with the development of universities from high schools.
When the Tokyo University was formed from the former high school
system, the first university co-operative was established in Tokyo in
1946. Unlike university co-operatives in many countries, which
operated under protected environment, Japanese university
co-operatives had been affected from the changing economic
environment. Therefore they had adopted generative themes of the
contemporary society (e.g. to be a student you first have to get food -
1946 for peace and better life - 1950)

In order for the small and weak primary co-operatives to become strong, the Federation of University Co-operative Association of Japan
(NFUCA) was established in 1955. Ensuring better life for the students
has been the main concern of the university co-operatives in Japan in all strategic plans. The life is considered as a totality in the campus,
having to fulfil economic, social, cultural and psychological needs of the

NFUCA has a membership of 203 by 1996 which consist of 192
primary university co-operatives, 9 business associations and 2 inter
college co-operatives. Having an individual membership of 1.24 million,
the Japanese university co-operative network has become one of the
strongest students co-operative movements in the world. The system
provides practically all necessities for the university students life; daily
consumer commodities, travel assistance, credit, insurance, vocational
guidance, language training etc.

Japanese university co-operative system is aspiring to integrate with
the community based co-operatives and other organisations for better
social and economic interaction. The vision created by the system for
21 century has a wider community perspective.

International co-operation is a strong programme within the Japanese
university co-operative system. Through NFUCA, it has provided
technical assistance to many emerging university co-operative
movements in the Region and served as a model for adaptation.

Korea:	Co-operative concept among youth in South Korea has been
mooted by the Saemaul movement at the beginning in 1947 with the
organisation of youth clubs. Later called 4-H Clubs, these groups had a
climax of 33140 in number in 1981, after which face a gradual decline.

During later years, the Agricultural Junior College established a campus
co-operative in the College to serve the consumer needs of the students. This students co-operative manages a consumer shop in the campus. A percentage of the surplus has been utilised to subsidized the students services. This functions in isolation to the other consumer co-operatives and the university co-operatives.

With the growing interest in establishing consumer co-operatives in
Korea, in spite of not having a consumer co-operative legislation, the
first university co-operative has been established in 1988. The
development of university co-operatives in Korea is much linked to the
development of the Korea Consumers Co-operative Federation. The
KCCF has organised University Co-operative Promotion Committee in
1989, which serves as the link to the community based consumer
co-operative movement and as a catalyst for development of university
co-operatives. Seven university co-operatives functioning at present
provide students services such as book stores, convenient stores, travel
services and other services. Within a short period of ten years the
University Co-operative Movement in Korea is vertically and
horizontally. The University Coop Network engages in joint buying
activities, joint production and environmental activities. The business
turnover of the university coop system has almost doubled in 1996
from 1993 (US$ 1.18 million).

Irrespective of the fact of government support and proper legislative
environment, the university co-operative movement in Korea is growing fast.

Malaysia :	Malaysian students co-operatives have been established
for two reasons; future citizens to experience the practices of
democracy and to gain practical experience in managing an economic
enterprise. The first university co-operative in Malaysia has been
established at the university in Malaya in 1968 as a co-operative book
shop. The co-operative has a mixed membership of the students, faculty and staff of the university.

At present there 8 university co-operatives affiliated to the National
Federation of University Co-operatives (GAKUB) which has been
established in 1988. GAKUB procure commodities for the members
and also provides consultancy services for the management of affiliates.
The GAKUB also deals with travel services, stationery, catering, credit

However, the total membership of the university co-operatives in
Malaysia does not exceed 10000 and the total capital is about 8.6
million Malaysian Ringgit. There is an untapped potential for the
expansion of university co-operatives in Malaysia.

Philippines : 	The first university co-operative in the Philippines was
set up in 1916, at the University of the Philippines, College of
Agricultural, which is still in operation. However, there was no
movement created until another university co-operative in the
Philippines was set up in 1946 at the University of Santo Tomes with
a co-operative consumer store. Meanwhile, the new law of the
government requiring the members to be above 21 years to form
co-operatives retarded the process and the students lost control over
co-operatives. Thereafter, different types of experiments such as
laboratory co-operatives have been carried out. The other solution was
to allow associate membership for the minors. The Philippine Science
High School Consumers Coop (PSHSCC) which was established in
1977 allowed 15 year old to vote in 1986 and elect a student to the
management committee.

The expansion of the university co-operatives started in 1985 as a
follow up to the ICA ROAP/NFUCA/JCCU Seminar held at Tokyo.
Since then co-operatives have been introduced in several schools and
some universities such as Polytechnic University of the Philippines,
Central Escolar University, Far Eastern University etc. The students
community, however, continues to play a inactive role in managing the
co-operatives due to legal problems.

Singapore:	The first university co-operative in Singapore was
established in 1969 at the National University of Singapore. Being a
small country with very few universities, Singapore adopted a different
strategy than other countries by identifying a separate sector of
co-operatives called campus co-operatives. Under this programme, the
NUS co-operative integrated the co-operatives located in the secondary
and high schools as well as polytechnic training institutes. At present,
there are 11 such campus co-operatives.

Normally secondary and high schools have one store co-operative,
whereas polytechnic have been able to open several outlets in their
branches under one co-operative. The main business of these
co-operatives are book shops, grocery stores and in the case of NUS
Co-operative, a computer training centre and higher purchase scheme.

The Campus Co-op Sector Committee set up under the Singapore
National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) has serves as the focal point
for the sector and its renewal policy includes joint purchasing
activities. The CCSC is still functions as a separate body, without
much relations with the main consumer co-operative - NTUC Fair Price.

It is an ambitious expansion programme in terms of business as well as
new co-operatives. the National Seminar held in 1995, has created a
vision for year 2000, which is eagerly followed by the CCSC. It
contains not only a co-operative agenda, but also a social agenda for the
young generation.

Thailand:	Kasetsart University took the lead to establish the first
university consumer co-operative in 1956 and the first savings and a
credit co-operative in a university in 1959. The University has also
established a separate department for co-operative studies. This
experiment has given birth to two streams of co-operatives in the
universities. At present, there are 17 consumer co-operatives and 18
savings and credit co-operatives in the universities.

The consumer co-operatives in the universities, like in other countries,
engage in stationery shops, photocopying, grocery shops and canteens
in a few cases. The membership is mixed, incorporating faculty and the
staff. The students play a key role in management of the co-operatives.

The consolidation process of these university co-operative began in
1989 as a result of the first national university co-operative seminar
organised by the ICA ROAP and the NFUCA. As a result, the
Thailand Consumer Co-operative Federation in Educational Institutions (TCFE) was established in 1994.

Thailand has a history of joint activities in the co-operatives in
educational institutions from 1983, when 4 university co-operatives
joined together to produce note books and stationary. The TCFE has
started joint buying activities in a limited scale, and preparing to
establish a central warehouse. As a country with a turbulent consumer
market few consumer companies would ultimately survive. Therefore,
the bulk procurement has become a key for competitive prices.

4.	The Status of University Co-operatives
The status of the university co-operative sector in the Region depends
on three factors:
1.	Size of the university population
2.	Legal and economic environment for university co-operative
3.	Relationship with the main consumer co-operative sector

Japan has the most number of universities in a country in the Region
and the highest number of university co-operative in the Region (203).
The individual membership itself is about 1.24 million. On the other
hand, the number of universities in Singapore is three, and the high
schools put together cannot make a strong movement. With the
population increase stagnated, Singapore has a limited capacity to
increase the number and the membership of the campus co-operative
sector. The other country which has a large potential is Indonesia
where there is a growing and strong university population. The
universities in the Philippines are spread over many islands, but has
sizeable population. Thailand has an untapped 27 universities and 33
teacher training colleges.

The size it self creates a possibility of business strategic alliances
among the university co-operatives. Such successful stories can be
found in Japan and Indonesia to a certain extent. Thailand is on the
way to establish a large warehousing facility. Vertical integration with a
national level makes the movement strong in the face of the competitive

Legal requirements for registration determines the nature of business,
the membership and the framework for the university co-operatives.
The countries such as Philippines and Malaysia have been affected by
the restriction on the age, hence allowing the domination by the faculty
or the staff of the institution. In the case of Korea, the absence of a law
governing university co-operatives has restricted the functions and also
has lost the legal identity. By tradition, as in the case of Thailand,
Malaysia and India, the elders have a major say in decision making in
such co-operatives.

In the case of Japan, there is a restriction by law, the only transact
with the members which has become a strength as well as a constraint.
By compulsion, these co-operatives are to serve members needs, failing
which, they tend to fail. The essence of co-operative practice is thus
maintained by law more than the tradition. This has also promoted
strong alliances for the survival and growth and preserved the identity
of a user owned and managed institution. In the given situation of the
restriction for consumer co-operatives to transact only with the
members, the university  co-operatives has a better chance than
community based co-operatives for a stable business.

Economic environment has comparatively lesser influence for the
success of the co-operatives in the campuses, as these institutions are
having demarcated territories and a closer clientele. The competition
from the private sector is marginal. The exclusiveness of the campus
itself restricts the business. The purchasing power of the campus
community determines the size of the business. In the case of India, or
the newly entering Vietnam has a limited capacity of business, whereas
a country like Malaysia has a better potential. In order to address this
issue, Thailand is planning to have joint buying operations with other
institutional and community based consumer co-operatives.

However, the countries like Singapore and Philippines are exposed to
the competition with the private enterprises working within the
campus or in the vicinity. The attitude of authorities about the
co-operatives as in the case of Vietnam makes university co-operatives
an institution difficult to develop. Some authorities prefer the
established private business houses.

The political environment in Indonesia restricts the expansion of the
university co-operatives sector to become a strong force economically
and socially. The independent beginnings of the movement has been
restricted by the government. This is equally true of the culture of the
universities. Polytechnic University of the Philippines, considered as
progressive and socialist minded institution, has promoted the
university co-operative and nurtured a separate faculty of co-operative
studies. Kasetsart university in Thailand has the same experience.

The relationship with the mainstream co-operatives, such as consumer
or agriculture, makes the university co-operatives more outward looking and strong. Thailand's TCFE is aligning itself with other institutional consumer co-operatives such as Telecom and possibly some community based consumer co-operatives in the area to counter the alliances among private vendors and also multinational consumer chains. They will be at a competitive advantage over the consumer enterprises in the area at least. NFUCA has business alliances with the JCCU which makes the consumer movement strong. In the Philippines, although such alliances are not that strong, MMFCO, a regional consumer co-operative federation service its members who are high school and university co-operatives in training and dealing with limited merchandise, and make the survival possible.

On the other hand, India has not been able to working with other
consumer co-operatives in the community closely, which makes the
university co-operative less competitive in prices and efficiency in

The relationship between university co-operatives and the school
co-operatives in many countries is not that close, besides Singapore,
who have been identified as one sector. Japan does not have school
co-operative system. Although India has a extended school co-operative system, there is no alliance with the university co-operatives. Although the school co-operatives have their own limitations in terms of capital and the size of business, joint purchasing and training possibilities would make them strong.

Social or community agenda of university co-operatives would create a
business goodwill as well as credibility vis a vis the community as
happened in the case of Japanese university co-operatives. The peace
and environment activities served a purpose for them.

The attempt of the Philippine university co-operatives to have closer
relations with other youth co-operative activities will necessarily
provide an opportunity to work with other main stream consumer
co-operatives. However, at times these activities would face problems
as happened in Indonesia.

The isolation and the closeness of the university and campus
co-operatives would make them at a disadvantage in a market oriented
society and would become vulnerable to conditions by authorities.

5.	Current Issues of Development
The current status of university co-operatives in many countries in the
Region is not that strong, strong enough to face the competition in a
given circumstances of a free competition. Many countries still offer
concessions and subsidies (e.g. rent free premises, free electricity,
equipment etc.) to co-operatives which make them up on other
enterprises functioning without them. However, the apathy on the part
of university co-operatives may cost them much. Therefore, the issues
confronted by them have to be identified and the remedies should be
implemented. These issues basically related to sustainability and
growth of university co-operatives.

Vertical and Horizontal integration:	The countries in the Region such
as India, Philippines have not yet been able to establish their own
national level federation which would help them to introduce joint
purchasing practices and support for improving management systems.
This has made them function as independent enterprises with less
bargaining power. The problem of coming together is unintentional for
want of initiators. A project supported by the ICA ROAP and the
ICA Sub Committee on university co-operatives is in the process of
bringing these co-operatives for a national convention this year. Such an exercise was carried out in 1989 in Thailand which has paid dividends for Thai university co-operatives NFUCA had great influence in promoting such integration in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Horizontal integration through business alliances is the other alternative
in the absence of an apex organisation. This has been attempted in
Singapore and Thailand earlier, which had mixed results. Strategic
business alliances are difficult to achieve without formal links to an
organisation as stakeholder.

Economic Viability:	Viability factors are always important for
university co-operatives with the limitation of buying power of
students, and the restrictions in the area of operation. Singapore
polytechnic have overcome this factor by forming one co-operative for
many campuses with one membership and on management, which has
brought down the overhead costs tremendously.

A recent seminar on campus co-operatives held in Singapore in 1996 has identified the lack of sufficient working capital and the capital
formation itself as a problem. Presentations made by Philippines,
Malaysia and Indonesia have highlighted this factor as retarding the
growth. Smaller size of many co-operatives will result in less capital.

Management issues:	Some of the countries such as India, and
Indonesia have found limited experience in managing consumer business
in a competitive economy. This is evident in many co-operatives which
are voluntarily managed by student members without professionalisation. When the co-operatives are able to hire
professionals as in the case of Japan and Singapore (NUS) the survival
and growth has been assured. Business expansion too would become a

On the other hand, as in the case Chulalangkorn University
co-operative, the board members  themselves come from the business
faculty of education, and the cooperative serves two purposes. It gains
through the business knowledge of the board; and it provides
opportunities to have practical business experience to students in

The availability of consultancy services and training facilities as in
Japan and Malaysia as well as Indonesia through the federations, could
ease out these problems.

Membership Issues:	Mobility of membership due to the time
limitations of university studentship has been a concern for university
co-operatives. Wherever professional manager manage the business, the
continuity of the business policies and plans are not affected. In their
absence, the matters are allowed to take a chance. Some co-operatives
have adopted the rotating retirement scheme for the management
committees for ensuring the continuity of some members from one
generation to the other generation.

Chulalangkon University Co-operative has adopted a unique solution to this problem, by allowing the students who have passed out from the university to retain the membership. The co-op even has the Royal
Princess still as a member, who has been a student earlier. The co-op
even has offered to open shops in the community out side the campus,
where such ex students are located.

Expansion of Business:	During many seminars in the past, this
issue has come up as a common concern. However, it is necessary to
emphasize the fact that the co-operative should exist for fulfilling the
member needs. Within this frame even it has been found that the
university co-operatives are unable to supply the complete range of
services to the members. Insurance is a subject only for Japanese
university co-operatives still. Many perceive business expansion in
terms of covering the entire student population and all the premises
will complete range of products. Business turnover depends on the
purchasing power of the members.

Lack of support from the authorities:	This problem which has been
identified by Philippines at the seminar in Singapore is evident in some
cases in Indonesia and Thailand. In certain university co-operatives, the
co-operative who do not get any subsidies or concessions. The study
team visited some Vietnamese universities too has found that
university authorities have a bad impression of co-operative due to past experience and even support private enterprises. Hanoi university of Technology has established a private company to manage their
services. By and large, the co-operatives restricted to institutions which have only their own property as infrastructure have to depend on university authorities for premises and other services.

6.	Agenda for Year 2001
The Seminar held in Singapore in 1996 adopted the following vision for
the 21st century:

By the turn of the 21st century, the campus youth co-operatives will :
-	Improve the quality of their members by developing retail
industry with technological applications in computer network,
electronic data analysis, vending machines and tele-cards and
introducing career development plans for their members;

-	Ensure the membership increase by 50% from the current level
by becoming more member oriented and introducing awareness building
programmes among student population;

-	Expand the focus on wider services to the community by
formulating long term strategic planning for the development of youth
co-operatives and increased participation of youth in co-operatives,
introducing co-operatives at the secondary schools and promoting
concerns such as environment, handicapped person's welfare and the
services for the disadvantaged in campus youth co-operatives;

-	Promote their co-operative and inter country alliances through
setting up of joint purchase systems and business alliances with the
community based co-operatives too mare envisaged.

The significance of this agenda is the incorporation of the new
co-operative principle of concern for community and the integration of
broader social issues confronted by young students. Working in the
community at large and business alliances with the community based
co-operatives too are envisaged.

The NFUCA in recent presentations at ICA forums has emphasized
the fact that university co-operatives are working within the context of
the local community and should aspire to build relations with the
community. Coming closer to the common problems faced by youth in
general is one way of involvement of reaching the  community, in
addition to common issues of peace and environment as well as
community welfare. Off campus activities bring the community closer
to the university. In many countries, the student struggles have been
resisted by local communities as youth aggression, without
understanding the issues behind them. University co-operatives having
off campus activities would be able to bring about a common

University co-operatives should become part and parcel of the main
stream co-operative movement in terms of business relations and
structural integration, without which, the survival and growth will be at
stake in the future.

* W.U.Herath is Regional Advisor (Consumer & HRD) at the ICA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. He is also the Secretary to the ICA Committee on Consumer Co-operation for Asia and the Pacific, ICA Sub-Committee on University Co-operatives for Asia and the Pacific and also the ICA Committee on Human Resource Development and Research for Asia and the Pacific.