The project is led by Dr Enrico Onali, Chair in Finance at the University of Nottingham. The aim of this project is to facilitate participation in Higher Education while increasing the efficiency of public spending.
The partners for this project are: Durham University (UK), Swansea University (UK), University of Nottingham (UK), Institut de Haute Formation aux Politiques Communautaires asbl (Belgium), EDUCatt (Italy), IDP European Consultants (Italy), and CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research (Poland).
SHIFT aims to alleviate the financial burden for students in Higher Education while increasing the efficiency of public spending.
SHIFT is an innovative model of virtuous Public Private Partnership (PPP) based on a financial instrument and model (mix of endowment fund and investment fund) that will generate increased financial resources to be distributed as grants, matching grants and soft loans for HE students.
SHIFT is a new funding model that pools financial resources from both the public and private sector, in order to:
Increase efficiency of public expenditure: SHIFT enhances sustainability of public resources by generating additional funding opportunities for scholarships of university students. The public funds allocated into the SHIFT model (the endowment fund) will be invested (through the investment fund) and only the profits generated will be disbursed (through grants and soft loans) to students, hence keeping intact the capital (here the sustainability of the public funds)
Mobilise private resources: SHIFT establishes a virtuous mechanism of PPP. Not only will SHIFT enable pooling funds from the public and private sector, but it will also help consolidate public and private attitudes to facilitate access to finance for HE students.
SHIFT brings together 7 partners from 4 countries representing HE system, students association and NGOs, private sector. Such diversity adds value to the partnership that has the complementary skills, experience and expertise.
SHIFT will produce four intellectual outputs:
Mapping Financing Dynamics of HE
Developing the SHIFT Innovative Financial Model
Testing and Validating through Stress Testing the innovative financial model
SHIFT Implementation Package for its adoption in HEIs
Dr Enrico Onali (Reader in Finance, Aston Business School) and Mr Giovanni Cardillo (Research Assistant, Aston Business School) were at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart, in Milan (Italy) on April 27th for the 2nd Transnational Project Meeting of SHIFT (Strengthen Higher-education through Innovative Financial Tools), a Project co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Commission, Key Action 2, Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education.
SHIFT is implemented by a Consortium of 7 partners from 4 European countries (United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy and Poland). SHIFT will develop and validate an innovative financial model to support Higher Education students in Europe.
During the meeting, Partners presented key findings of Intellectual Output 1 - Mapping Financing Dynamics of HE Students - and discussed how to develop Intellectual Output 2 - Innovative Financial Model for HE Students. Intellectual Output 1 aimed at identifying how HE students finance their studies within Project Countries and all over the Europe in order to understand which is the best financial model to suit their needs.
For Intellectual Output 2, SHIFT will develop an innovative funding model for both Higher Education students who receive grants/loans and Higher Education Institutions that manage public resources.
The Partners are strongly committed to give high visibility to the Project, and an important issue discussed during the meeting was “Dissemination and Exploitation Activities”.
For further information on SHIFT please visit the website.
We are pleased to announce that the University of Nottingham has joined SHIFT. The University of Nottingham is a top 100 university in the world (QS rankings). In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, the University of Nottingham was 6th in the UK by ‘research power’. The project leader will be Professor Enrico Onali, Chair in Finance at Nottingham University Business School.”
The SHIFT Consortium will meet for the third Transnational Project Meeting on 10 September in Warsaw, Poland.
The Consortium, whose aim is to pioneer an innovative financial model to support Higher Education students in Europe, is currently developing the second intellectual output of SHIFT: “Innovative Financial Model for HE Students” (IO2). The aim of this intellectual output is to determine the main features of the SHIFT model, building upon the findings of the first intellectual output “Mapping The Financing Dynamics Of Higher Education Students” (IO1).
During the meeting, the partners will present the key findings of IO2, and discuss how to develop the third intellectual output: “Final SHIFT Model: Test and Validation through Financial Stress Testing” (IO3). The objective of IO3 will be to validate the final version of the SHIFT model, by implementing stress testing methods to assess the resilience of the model under alternative scenarios.
Finally, the Consortium will discuss Dissemination and Exploitation activities, with the aim to maximize external visibility and participation to the SHIFT project.
The third Transnational Project Meeting of SHIFT (Strengthen Higher-education through Innovative Financial Tools) took place at the CASE headquarters in Warsaw (Poland).
During the meeting, Partners presented key findings of Intellectual Output 2 - Innovative Financial Model for HE Students, and they advanced implementation by fine-tuning the methodology for the validation phase of the project based on the next deliverable: “Test and Validate SHIFT through Stress Testing”.
The Partners also set the stage for the “SHIFT Implementation Package” that will include tools and documents for universities to implement the SHIFT Model, as well as a set of financial literacy tools and resources for students. Intellectual Output 2 innovative funding model for both Higher Education students who receive grants/loans and Higher Education Institutions that manage public resources.
3rd Meeting of SHIFT at CASE (Warsaw, Poland)
The SHIFT Consortium, whose aim is to pioneer an innovative financial model to support Higher Education students in Europe, has started the stress testing of the SHIFT model.
The Consortium has collected financial data from a variety of sources to assess the resilience of the model under alternative scenarios.
The Consortium has identified three Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) for the stress testing: one for Europe as a whole, one for Poland, and one for the UK. ETFs are passively managed funds and allow portfolio diversification more cheaply than actively managed equity funds, as confirmed by a recent EU publication.
These three ETFs satisfy the data availability requirements for the stress test. Consistent with Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) principles, the fund for the whole Europe allows investing in SRI Eurozone equities. The other two ETFs are chosen to consider the impact of investing in non-Eurozone countries.
Preliminary results suggest that these three ETFs exhibit different characteristics in terms of expected return and systematic risk, which could be exploited to ensure that the composition of the SHIFT fund be consistent with the risk preferences of the potential sponsors.
Once validated through stress-testing methodologies, the SHIFT model and Fund can be used by HEIs as a means to mobilise additional funding to facilitate access to higher education while providing sustainability to public investments.
The SHIFT project is financed by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Commission. For more information about the SHIFT Project please visit http://www.project-shift.eu/
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