Strengthen HE through Innovative Financial Tools Erasmus Project

General information for the Strengthen HE through Innovative Financial Tools Erasmus Project

Strengthen HE through Innovative Financial Tools Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

Strengthen HE through Innovative Financial Tools

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Inclusion – equity; Access for disadvantaged; Economic and financial affairs (incl. funding issues)

Project Summary

The project has achieved the objectives set out in the submitted proposal. All partners have actively contributed to the Intellectual Outputsof the project, carrying out activities according to the agreed plan and as outlined in the proposal. The main results of the project are the 4 intellectual outputs, available at As can be seen from the documents:
1. IO1: as reported in the executive summary, this IO has identified specific drivers and inhibitors of current funding models for HE students to provide elements for the design of the innovative model. In particular, the partners have investigated students’ access to finance and financial literacy across the EU, emphasizing the rigidities in availability of the direct (loans and grants) and indirect (tax allowances, family benefits) schemes for students and discerning the government initiatives in EU countries to increase the level of financial literacy. Furthermore, the partners have examined the private and public expenditure by EU countries to finance higher education and highlights the shortcomings of the current funding policies. Key data sources, which have been extensively used in desk research, include OECD, Eurostat, Eurydice, Bank of Italy, Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Sutton Trust, among many others. The partners identified via surveys the most significant barriers to enter higher education in selected Member States. In Italy, SHIFT partners ran the questionnaire-based survey in the period between 27 February and 15 March 2018 by using online survey tools or mailing hard copies directly to students and obtained 1,067 replies, 804 of which have been properly completed. In Poland, SHIFT partners conducted a survey between January and mid-February 2018, using both on-line and off-line data collection methods. The questionnaire has been sent to students at both public and private universities across different cities in Poland and in total 342 completed surveys have been collected, 132 of which are via an online tool. In the UK, SHIFT partners carried out a student survey for England, which collected 144 responses, and a survey for Wales, which collected 121 responses. Additionally, HE alumni participated in an opinion survey carried out by SHIFT partners in England and Wales, which covered 34 respondents.
2. IO2: this output developed the SHIFT model on the basis of the results of IO1. The first chapter of the report has focused on the role of Public-Private Partnership models (and potential pitfalls), focussing on the EU and the partner countries (Belgium, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom). The second chapter describes the main features of the SHIFT model, and in particular, it discusses the benefits to potential participants, the funding model, and the determinants of the choice of the financial tool. The third chapter discusses corporate governance issues and puts forward a governance model for SHIFT. The fourth chapter discusses the application process through which students would be selected for funding and how SHIFT would support the financial literacy of the students participating in the programme. The fifth chapter discusses how the SHIFT fund would be setup and other related operational issues.
3. IO3: the Partners have developed a framework that aims to allow the potential sponsors of the SHIFT project to understand whether the project is feasible, what risks the project would be subject to, and how to address such risks. The central focus of this Output is to provide a quantitative evaluation of the potential ability of the SHIFT investment fund to generate returns that can be used to provide students with either grants or loans. In particular, the partners collected data on fund management fees in the EU and data on the proxies for the different components of the SHIFT portfolio (equity and bonds) to examine the sensitivity of the SHIFT portfolio returns (net of fund management fees) to changes in stock market returns and interest rates. Moreover, a simulation of the performance of the SHIFT portfolio under three difference scenarios is provided: a “normal”, a “boom” and a “recession” scenario. The Partners also considered the potential demand risks on the success of the SHIFT project.
4. IO4: this IO aims to make the SHIFT model operational. The results of this IO have been disseminated at the link This link summarises the project and provides guidelines for its implementation. The website also provide template documents for internal documentation for the SHIFT Model (e.g. Memorandum of Understanding), and a set lecture slides that addresses important financial literacy issues for students that would be enrolled in the program (Module 1: Managing money as a student; Module 2: Understanding retail banking, financial products and markets; Module 3: Protecting your money).

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 284237 Eur

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Project Partners