Co-op Network Studies CNS

Co-op Network Studies (CNS) is a network established by a group of eight universities. Teaching within the framework of the network is developed, produced and coordinated by the Ruralia Institute of the University of Helsinki together with the other participating universities. The university network was established in 2005 and offers multidisciplinary, web-based courses related to the co-operative sector and social economy.

Moreover, the CNS coordination unit is actively involved in developing and investigating matters affecting the co-operative sector in cooperation with partners. The studies receive funding from the universities of the network.

Teaching is based on e-learning. Some courses can be completed either in Finnish or English.

The network’s teaching is closely connected with research on co-operatives, social economy and the business sector as well as with the Pellervo Coop Center. The studies cover new co-operative types and new fields of co-operative activity that are becoming increasingly significant to society, such as the social welfare and healthcare industry. The courses cover the entire spectrum of co-operative activity as well as the special features of mutual undertakings. They include discussion on matters that are topical and essential to businesses, thereby creating value for co-operatives. 

Multidisciplinary teaching based on the network’s expertise diversely benefits the development of knowhow required in the co-operative sector and social economy as well as related values and attitudes. The courses of the CNS network are also beneficial for students who are not primarily interested in co-operatives or social economy.

The students of the university network can choose courses free of charge.

The scope of each course is five or six credits, except for students of the Aalto University School of Business, the University of Eastern Finland and the LUT University, who must earn six credits to complete each course. 

Teaching focuses on the idea underlying co-operative activities and on co-operatives as business organisations. The module covers the principles and practices of co-operatives and the application of these to business operations, social economy and new solution models in the co-operative sector. The co-operative sector is examined from the viewpoints of large and small co-operatives. The courses are taught by the multidisciplinary experts of the network universities, with the staff of the Ruralia Institute’s coordinating unit providing support for web-based courses.

Student services
Tytti Klén
Education Planning Officer