Hyunmin leaves UTS College on a high note.

Outstanding Graduate Prize winner Hyunmin has plenty to sing about.
Outstanding Graduate Prize winner Hyunmin has plenty to sing about.

Even before completing his Graduate Certificate in Technology Practice at UTS College, Hyunmin Lee’s CV was impressive. He’d already earned a PhD in educational technology and for five years was a researcher and lecturer at the prestigious Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. He’s also an accomplished opera singer, with a bachelor's degree in music, and a master’s degree in music education.
A glimpse of UTS sets things in motion
Hyunmin first became interested in UTS during a trip to Australia in January 2020. “When I was on the street near Central, I’d see the big UTS building. I felt very impressed at the first glance. Afterwards, I searched UTS online, and I saw it was the best university among young universities,” he says. “I already had a plan to study overseas at that time, and my options were the USA, the UK, and Australia. But UTS made the biggest impression on my mind.”
It wasn’t long after his return to South Korea that COVID-19 put a stop to travel and sparked big changes in the education landscape. “There was even more need for skills and knowledge in education technology areas such as data analytics and artificial intelligence,” he says. With his eyes on a master’s degree in information technology at UTS, Hyunmin enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Technology Practice at UTS College. The Graduate Certificate is part of the UTS College Pre-Master’s program, which helps students develop the language and academic skills to reach their postgraduate goals at an Australian university.
Overcoming the language barrier
Hyunmin studied remotely from his home in Seoul. He says, “It was challenging for me to study online and participate in discussions because I have the language barrier. But every lecturer, every coordinator and all my classmates were so generous and kind. And one of the most helpful things was Studiosity. That was useful for me, and other foreign students like me. Anxiety about language is a common for international students, but this system helped. So did generous support from lecturers and kind classmates. The experience fostered my language skills, especially writing and listening. Academic English was important too. I think it may be helpful for every international student, even if they reach the IELTS requirement. Learning collaboration and negotiation skills was another valuable thing. It is very useful to collaborate.”
Outstanding Graduate Prize
At times he found the workload demanding. “So many assignments! But I survived.” In fact, he did more than just ‘survive’. Hyunmin won the Outstanding Graduate Prize for achieving the highest grade-point average (GPA) in his group. He modestly credits his success to others. “I have to thank my teachers for their dedication and passion for their subjects,” he says. “I remember all their names: Julie, Agnieszka, Sara, Jennifer, and Georgina. It’s thanks to them I’m now here in Australia at UTS.”
Now in his second semester of a Master of Information Technology majoring in Data Analytics, Hyunmin says UTS College prepared him well for UTS. “The online learning method was very good, and the methodology was the same.” But being on campus is new and inspiring. “Every facility at UTS is so fantastic,” he says. “I was especially impressed with the library. I think having a desk near the window is my favourite thing. Also, I have a subject, Fundamentals of Data Analytics, in a special room with a screen all around me. Not just a screen – but other IT equipment like a live camera to illustrate and present materials. It’s called the Data Arena. There was nothing like that in my university in South Korea.”
Looking back, he’s glad he took the plunge to come to Australia. “I think many international students hesitate due to concerns about language, but I see it as a challenge,” he says. “I’d like to reassure them that it’s not impossible. You have to be brave. Even I made it with good grades.” When he considers his future, Hyunmin says he’d like to accumulate experience in Australia and then continue his research career in South Korea. He says, “Korea needs more expertise in learning analytics – analytics in educational institutions, higher education, or university. I hope to be the expert who can combine big data analytics and education. Especially in the application of learning analytics into learning management systems.”
With all his academic achievements, Hyunmin still makes room for his love of singing. “Oh yeah, absolutely,” he says. “Music is everywhere in my life. I always listen to classical music. I often sing solo in church, and I like karaoke. I’m a tenor and my favourite song is Nessun Dorma by Puccini.”
Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Technology Practice