Encouraged by the performance of local academics in research and publishing articles in international journals, the government said it will continue providing grants for public universities.
In the last budget, the government allocated RM600 million as research grants for public institutions of higher learning.
“We would like to maintain the same budget. Our research universities are getting better now. We are more competent now,” Education Minister II Idris Jusoh said at the “Research Universities Success Series 1: Publications” showcase in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Five research universities — Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia — are taking part in the event.
“Since their research university status in 2006, the country’s research activities and outputs have shown tremendous increase, which proves that higher learning institutions in Malaysia can be at par with reputable universities in the world,” he added.
Malaysian academics publication output between 1996 and 2012, according to Scopus (abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature), had more than 14,000 research papers.
It surpassed Singapore’s 12,000 research publications and Thailand’s nearly 8,000. Malaysia’s key strength is in engineering and energy fields. Other emerging fields include mathemat ics, chemi st ry, medicine, material science physics and astronomy, where plenty of publications and citations were recorded.
The government has set a target to have 60,000 PhD holders by 2023.