CITS is organized on the basis of democratic, non-hierarchical principles, with all members having equal involvement in the life and work of the Cooperative. Classes are offered in physical localities, over the internet, or a combination of both. All classes are participatory and collaborative in order to ground inquiry in grassroots experiences and knowledges. Research-scholars and teacher-scholars have opportunities to design courses together, and those new to teaching and independent learning are offered generous support. All members are able to work with academics and other experienced researchers on research projects, and to publish their own writings through the CITS.
CITS is a co-operative for higher education that is theoretically grounded in the concept of the Student as Producer.
In brief, ‘Student as Producer’ restates the meaning and purpose of higher education by reconnecting the core activities of universities, i.e., research and teaching, in a way that consolidates and substantiates the values of academic life.
Student as Producer is a pedagogical framework through which the organizing principle for higher education can be reconstituted as collaboration, sharing and communing, already core academic values, against the exploitative values which characterise the capitalist business.
The idea of the ‘Student as Producer’ reconstitutes the ownership of the means of knowledge production so that academic workers can share the ownership of the means of production of the enterprises in which they are working in.
Student as Producer emphasizes the role of the student as collaborators in the production of knowledge. The capacity for Student as Producer is grounded in the human attributes of creativity and desire, so that students can recognize themselves in a world of their own design.
One key guiding principle of CITS is that ‘teachers’ and ‘researchers’ have much to learn from each other. The quality of projects and courses offered is regularly assessed by the cooperating knowledge producers themselves, and guaranteed by their own radical initiatives and struggles, past and present.
CITS gives high priority to connecting teaching with research, a central feature of the university we need for the 21st century. The CITS organizes study and research at all levels including undergraduate, Masters and Doctorates level education (i.e. assisting Doctorates by publication).
It offers online courses, freely available on the web, but not MOOCS (Massively Open Online Courses), which make real time interaction among professors and students impossible. Regular lectures and seminars ensure face-to-face meetings among scholars and students from various backgrounds and disciplines.
In 2016 the CITS will be offering postgraduate level courses to students eager to participate in cutting-edge research, focused on issues sidelined by mainstream institutions.
In addition to offering courses, CITS organizes conferences, discussions, events, and interviews that link our work to social movements. Beyond simply replicating the existing university, we aim to create new forms of radical schooling in and between countries around the world. We strive to be a platform where academics and social movements can come together to debate and develop the strategies, theories, forms of knowledge and modes of practice we need to survive and overcome neoliberal global capitalism.
We invite all that are interested in being part of this project to get in touch.