SUSS, MHA launch full-time, direct honours degree in public safety and security

(From left) President of SUSS Cheong Hee Kiat, Ministry of Home Affairs deputy secretary (international and training) T. Raja Kumar, provost of SUSS Tsui Kai Chong and Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Pang Kin Keong at the ceremony on Dec 11, 2019. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

SINGAPORE - Those looking to pursue further studies in public safety and security will be able to do so in a new full-time bachelor's degree programme that starts in July next year.

The four-year direct honours programme was developed by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) with support from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Students will study the management of public safety and security, in a multi-disciplinary approach that will integrate theories with practical knowledge, said MHA and SUSS in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 11).

The Bachelor of Public Safety and Security (Honours) Programme will be open to MHA officers and those employed by, or intending to join the safety and security industry.

The programme will offer three specialisation track options: criminology, crisis management or psychosocial intervention.

Eligible officers from the Home Team Departments - Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Prison Service (SPS)- will be sponsored for the programme.

Up to 20 credit units will be granted to eligible officers recommended by the Home Team in recognition of their prior learning and cumulative work experience. This means the officers can obtain up to a two-semester reduction of courses - equivalent to 12 months, or up to four courses.

Under the collaboration with MHA, SUSS will also accredit several Home Team Departments' basic training courses. These departments include ICA, SCDF, SPF and SPS.

Home Team officers who complete all of their departments' accredited basic training courses and relevant SUSS Continuing Education and Training modules will receive a Certificate in Homefront Safety and Security. This will be recognised by the university as a minor worth 40 credit units for officers who enrol in any SUSS degree programme.

This will also apply for officers who complete all eight of the Home Team School of Criminal Investigation's restructured milestone investigation courses. They will receive a Certificate in Criminal Investigation Studies, which will be recognised as a minor worth 40 credit units.

So far, 24 investigation officers (IOs) have graduated from a course accredited by SUSS, according to the joint statement.

They included Sergeant Norfarhana Baharudin, 26, from Bedok Police Division, one of the IOs who graduated on Nov 7 from the Home Team Basic Investigation Course.

"This credit system is good for working adults like myself as it recognises the experience and expertise that I've gained through the courses which I have undergone as part of my training at work," she was quoted as saying in the statement.

In the light of these collaborative efforts, MHA and SUSS also inked a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to further their collaboration in training and learning.

Projects under the MOU will also focus on building capabilities in learning technologies and analytics.

The MOU was signed by Professor Tsui Kai Chong, provost of SUSS, and Mr T. Raja Kumar, deputy secretary (international and training) of MHA. It was witnessed by Mr Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, and Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, president of SUSS.

In the statement, Mr Raja said the MOU reflects the desire by both MHA and SUSS to offer Home Team officers high quality continuous learning and accreditation opportunities.

"The Home Team is committed to developing its officers, and this MOU will enable us to move forward towards achieving that," he added.

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