PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Research Institute (MRI) has been given US$100mil (RM367,899,000) to boost research and development in public universities.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin said that once the draft of the MRI structure had been endorsed by the Cabinet, the institute would facilitate Malaysian universities in collaborating with prestigious higher education institutions overseas.
“The Higher Education Ministry is setting up the organisational structure of the MRI, which will aid research activities in the centres of excellence in some public universities,” said Khaled, when presenting the second Higher Education Ministry progress report in Putrajaya yesterday.
“For this reason, Khazanah Nasional and Petronas have given an endowment of US$100mil to this institution.”
Khaled said that he hoped more people would apply for the postgraduate scholarships announced under the mini budget on March 10. To date, the ministry has received 16 applications. There are 500 places available at PhD level and 10,000 at Masters level in public universities, as well as at other universities like Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Multimedia University and Universiti Teknologi Petronas.
Khaled added that with the new electronic programme management office (e-PMO) in place, the ministry could now keep tabs on the implementation of its strategic plans.
On another issue, he said service charges under the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) would be reduced from 3% to 1%, from this year for old and new loan applicants.
“This was in view of the edict by the National Fatwa Council last June requiring PTPTN to change its method of giving out loans.”