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Contributing Back to the Home Team through the Pursuit of Higher Education
Graduating with first class honours from the Singapore Institute of Technology – University of Liverpool (SIT-UoL), two Home Team officers speak to us about pursuing higher education in the midst of their careers.

“It’s never too late to pursue your education, regardless of your age. Learning is a constant journey,” said Chief Warder (CW1) Ng Riying of the Singapore Prison Service (SPS).

Graduating with first class honours from the Singapore Institute of Technology – University of Liverpool (SIT-UoL) Criminology and Security degree programme on 1 October 2017, the 31-year-old shared how it was initially challenging to get back to the books and adjust to student life. Having left school for a number of years since she started working as a Prisons officer in 2009, it took her some time to try and keep up with the rigours of being a student all over again.

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CW1 Ng Riying, Chief Personal Supervisor, Institution B3, SPS at her graduation ceremony on 1 October 2017. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

A self-proclaimed fan of uniformed groups back in her younger days, CW1 Ng said her interest in the SPS actually began with an advertisement. It was a Yellow Ribbon Project advertisement which caught her eye, and that was how she came to realise how meaningful it was to be able to help ex-offenders.“I’m grateful that my family was supportive during my pursuit of higher education, as they understood why I couldn’t spend as much time with them as before while I focused on my studies,” said CW1 Ng.

Her work as a Prisons officer also inspired her to dedicate her dissertation project towards the role of the media in shaping perceptions of the SPS and the work done by the organisation.

Another Home Team officer who applied his work experience towards his dissertation project is Sergeant (Sgt2) Lee Cheng Wai from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), who received the award for ‘Exemplary Dissertation Project’.

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Sgt2 Lee Cheng Wai receiving the award for Exemplary Dissertation Project from Ms Goh Soon Poh, Deputy Secretary (Finance), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). PHOTO: Mabel Yap

Humbled by the award and emphasising that his achievements were not a solo effort, Sgt2 Lee said, “I couldn’t have done this without the help of my dissertation supervisor, Dr Laura Vitis, who gave me a lot of encouragement throughout. I am also thankful to the former Commander of my NPC, who was supportive of my intention to pursue this degree back then.”Sgt2 Lee, who previously served as a Ground Response Force officer for three years at Ang Mo Kio North Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), focused his dissertation project on the mainstream media representation of the Police Cameras (PolCams) initiative, which was rolled out by the SPF in April 2012.

“To other young officers who are interested in pursuing your degree, don’t be afraid to try. You need to be persistent and have an attitude for learning to be successful,” added the 25-year-old.

Just like his course mate CW1 Ng, Sgt2 Lee also graduated with first class honours from the same cohort of the Criminology and Security degree programme. Both officers credited the programme with helping them to broaden their perspectives on understanding the underlying factors of crime. They hoped to be able to apply what they learned from their degree programme to their work back in the Home Team.

CW1 Ng and Sgt2 Lee were among 20 Home Team officers sponsored by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Criminology and Security at SIT-UoL after embarking on the three-year long course.

Addressing the Home Team officers present at the cohort’s graduation ceremony held on 1 October 2017, Mr Chan Wing Leong, Deputy President (Administration) and Chief Financial Officer of SIT thanked the officers for their efforts in keeping Singapore safe and secure.

“You have a special place in society, and I see you as protectors of our country. There is no higher calling than this,” Mr Chan added.

The SIT-UoL Criminology and Security degree programme was established in 2013 with the aim of supporting the growth and helping raise the level of professionalism of the safety and security industry in Singapore.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Yuslina Aziz
  2. 04 October 2017
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