PETALING JAYA: Public universities will be receiving a substantial boost in grants for research and development (R&D) purposes.
Describing R&D as vital in bolstering innovation and knowledge, Universiti Malaya (UM) deputy vice-chancellor (Research & Innovation) Prof Dr Noorsaadah Abd Rahman said the budget increase would provide the opportunities for Malaysia to compete at a global level.
“If Malaysia intends to be a developed, high-income nation, we need to have our own knowledge and technology rather than continuously buying them from other countries.
“Without R&D, we will be forever subservient to others,” she added.
Prof Noorsaadah said UM was pleased to receive the special allocation as it needs to conduct more transformative research and enhance its reputation globally, in terms of research and the quality of education provided.
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) vice-chancellor Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Hassan Said thanked the Government for the huge increase in the R&D allocation for public universities.
“This will enhance research capabilities and provide greater opportunities for innovation and commercialisation by local researchers,” he said.
He added the R&D allocation would also put local universities on par with many top foreign universities.
Educationist Datuk Dr T. Marimuthu said the 7% target for Indian students to enter higher education institutions, is much needed.
“We need a quota system for now because many Indians are in the B40 category, or bottom 40% of households.
“Eventually our students must compete on merit but for now, we need help.
“Ensuring that Indians have a place in university is important but the government must also address the social-economic issues plaguing the community,” he said, adding that many Indians drop out of school without sitting for the SPM.
“They have the brains to compete on merit but issues like poverty and social ills among the youth must first be addressed,” he said.
Research and development grants to public universities increased to RM400mil from RM235mil allocated in previous budgets.
Special allocation for Universiti Malaya to achieve Top 100 Universities in the World status in the near future.
RM90mil for MyBrain Programme for 10,600 individuals to further their studies in Masters and PhD.
New intake of Indians to public universities will be increased to a targeted 7%.