A new industry-linked program is throwing students into the deep end of the foreign exchange market.

Deakin University has partnered with Telstra to give business students first-hand experience of the world of currency trading.

The project will see students move from the lecture theatre into the fast-paced, and often overwhelming, life of the foreign currency trading floor.

“The Telstra Trading Room enables us to teach our students to trade in a space that looks and operates in the same way as the trading floors of major banks and corporations around the world. The only difference is that our students are trading in virtual money,” said Associate Professor Victor Fang, coordinator of the Deakin Business School's trading program.

The trading room simulates a real inter-bank foreign currency trading floor, complete with pods for 15 banks, named after real Australian and international institutions, and state-of-the-art equipment including tickers, ASX and Bloomberg feeds on the trading wall.

“Not only do we teach the theory of trading, we challenge our students to take that knowledge and apply it to real-world economic scenarios,” Associate Professor Fang said.

“This way our students are exposed to the risks, pressures and strategies experienced in real-world currency trading.”

Students in the trading room are divided into teams of three and allocated the roles as traders, position keepers and risk managers for the 15 banks.

They are provided with an economic scenario and given time to prepare a pre-trading report on their currency trading (which includes formulating trading strategy, expected profit and contingent strategy plan) before the bell rings and trading begins.

During the scenario, the students will be confronted with the same challenges as real-world currency traders such as formulating and carrying out transactions, identifying risks and strategies, keeping track of transactions and being nimble enough to respond to the ever changing economic situations occurring around the world, and ultimately make a profit for their bank.

At the end of trading, each bank team prepares a post-trading report on its actual trading performance and must explain any variations to their expected outcomes.

More information is available here