SHIFT Consortium kicks off the Testing and Validation of the SHIFT model

Eramsus plus logo


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


SHIFT is implemented by a Consortium of 8 partners from 4 countries (the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy and Poland) and will develop and validate an innovative model to provide financial support to students. SHIFT is developing a model of a fund that pools money from both public and private sectors to generate revenues to be redistributed to HE students in the form of grants and/or soft loans.

CASE’s experts work in this project on an innovative financial model to guarantee sustainability and effectiveness in the use and management of public resources devoted to financial inclusion of Polish students to eliminate financial barriers for their participation. The SHIFT impact will materialise also way beyond the lifetime of the project. The potential benefits of SHIFT are manifold: improved efficiency and sustainability of public resources devoted to HE, a system to mobilise private funding for HE students, a public private partnership model conducive to improved HE quality, relevance and access.


Photo: Flickr,