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Sir John Key opens South Island's largest Trading Room at UC

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Former Prime Minister and University of Canterbury (UC) alumnus, Rt Hon Sir John Key was on campus today to officially open the new Trading Room in the UC Business School.

The UC Trading Room simulates a financial trading environment, providing business and finance students with experiential learning and skills in fund management.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UC’s College of Business and Law, Professor Sonia Mazey, says business and finance students will gain first-hand experience of market concepts and behaviours and will have the opportunity to develop financial trading skills in stocks, futures, options, currencies and bonds.

"The UC Trading Room takes an innovative approach to learning, offering real-world experiences that cannot be provided within a traditional classroom. This new teaching facility will enhance what is already a strong education programme."

The 12-seat facility includes a live stock ticker display, access to business news feeds and a range of electronic business databases including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters DataStream, Global Financial Data and SIRCA. It will be used primarily for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in finance across three programmes - the Bachelor of Commerce, the Master’s degree in Applied Finance and Economics, and the Master’s degree in Financial Management.

Finance Associate Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski says the Trading Room offers UC students a number of benefits.

"Students will learn about the role technology plays in transforming businesses and creating value, and they will become familiar with the digital tools used in the industry. They will also learn about risk-return profiles and the commercialisation of innovations and gain an understanding of ethical issues and socially responsible investments."

UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says the Trading Room demonstrates UC’s commitment to producing work-ready graduates who are engaged with industry and leaders in their chosen field.

"UC business and finance graduates will gain key transferable skills that will enhance their employability within a global market. The experience the UC Trading Room provides ensures they will have the knowledge, practical skills and personal attributes required to succeed in the industry."

It’s not just UC students who will benefit from the facility. Associate Professor Bialkowski hopes to see the UC Trading Room become a centre for increasing financial literacy in the wider community.

"Our future vision is to hold information sessions in the UC Trading Room for Christchurch locals. In today’s environment, financial education is more important than ever. With investment schemes like KiwiSaver, people are becoming more responsible for planning their own financial futures."

The UC Business School will also use the Trading Room to host high school outreach activities and make the facility available to all UC students and staff for research projects, UC Centre for Entrepreneurship students, the UC Investment Society and industry partners.

Professor Mazey says the UC Business School is extremely grateful to the UC Foundation for its generous support towards the establishment of the Trading Room.

"It would have been harder to create this innovative learning space without the support and generosity of the UC Foundation and its donors."

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