Open University Malaysia’s First PhD Holder is a Police Officer!

The head of Nusa Bestari Police Station broadened his horizons to better connect with the society by completing a doctorate study despite his busy schedules

ASP Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Tahir featured in Open University Malaysia’s website

It was a busy afternoon when Associate Professor Abdul Rahim, Director of Open University Malaysia (OUM) and his assistant greeted Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mohd Roslan Mohd Tahir, the head of Nusa Bestari Police Station at Iskandar Puteri District Police Headquarters. Rahim congratulated the first PhD holder from OUM in their Arts programme, pulling witty remarks by asking if the Temerloh-born Mohd Roslan wants to be addressed as an ASP or a doctor as we walked into the hall of the police station building.

The 52 year old is a calm and humble man in blue, giving green light for his interview to be recorded. Being among the 11,000 Johorean police officers who have been deployed statewide during the MCO period, while also having to keep day-to-day administration of the station by managing his staff as well as keeping an eye on crimes, and maintaining relations with the community, he is no stranger to making sacrifices and multitasking.

ASP Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Tahir, head of Nusa Bestari Police Station at Iskandar Puteri District Police Headquarters is the first to complete the PhD (Arts) programme with Open University Malaysia

“It was tough and full of challenges,” he said, when asked about the obstacles during the period of pursuing his doctorate study with OUM since 2016 in Johor. “But my goal is bigger than any challenges that are set for me.” The father of four had to frequently go to Kuala Lumpur to attend seminars that were hosted by reputable public universities and often guested by the industry’s top academic figures together with his supervisors on top of his already demanding day job.

Fresh off from high school with SPM in hand when he first joined the enforcement as a constable, Mohd Roslan climbed his way up by earning certifications gradually from a public university. As he got more responsibilities on hand, he found limitations in following the available regular campus schedules. OUM helped him to pursue a Master’s degree study in Occupational Safety and Health Risk. After completing his Masters, he carried on to doctorate and picked up an Arts Programme in OUM which he found suitable as he intended his study to be insightful and be useful to the community that he is serving in.

Associate Professor Abdul Rahim Mohamed Amin, Director at Open University Malaysia visiting ASP Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Tahir at his Nusa Bestari Police Station to relay congratulatory message for completing his doctorate study

“OUM became my university of choice because of its flexible and learner-friendly system as well as its affordable fees,” he added. Professor Rahim addressed that Mohd Roslan was adamant in his study to understand the reason that made criminals commit their crimes.

OUM’s Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is a systematic process that involves the identification, documentation and assessment of prior experiential learning like knowledge, skills and attitudes that would determine the extent to which an individual has achieved the desired learning outcomes. This helped Mohd Roslan’s goal to learn and earn his doctorate while serving the nation at the same time, possible. He hoped that his efforts would motivate the other frontliners especially in the police force and many other busy, working adults to pursue education while they can.

ASP Mohd Roslan’s learning journey is definitely inspiring enough to others out there who wishes to pursue their goals and go for it. For more information on OUM programmes, visit and for application.