Dear Members, Friends and Followers of the Social Science Centre,
The Social Science Centre is closing at the end of February 2019. Since 2011, we have organised and run free, cooperative higher education courses and community projects in the city of Lincoln. The SSC was created as both a critique of and an alternative to the dominant model of higher education in the UK, and has been inspirational for many of its members and followers. It has created many spaces for intellectual life, learning, solidarity and friendship within the city and enabled many of us to follow new dreams. Running such a project has required considerable time and commitment from us all, and been challenging at times, and we have reached the limit of what we are able to achieve in this organisational form. The ideas that have underpinned the SSC, and co-operative higher education generally, are being developed elsewhere. A Co-operative University with degree-awarding powers is now being established in England and will open in 2019. The SSC was free and relied on voluntary labour; the Co-operative University will charge students £5,500 in order to access government funding and workers will be paid. Although one project is charging a fee and the other was free, both projects, following the historical aim of the Co-operative movement, intend to develop a new form of common wealth. We look forward to working with you in the city of Lincoln and elsewhere on other projects.
Yours in hope and solidarity.