Mike Neary, who is spearheading the effort to establish a federated cooperative university in the UK:

The idea to set up a Co-operative University in the UK goes back to the late 19th century, but it was never realised. Creating a Co-operative University now has been given impetus by three main factors: new government legislation, new forms of co-operatives in which the interests of workers can be reconciled to the interests of consumers and other stakeholders, and calls by academics and students for more democratic governance in higher education. 

The Basque country Mondragon University shows that it can be done.