December 10th, 2013

The Education Ministry has outlined six strategies to boost the performances of public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) and their positions in the world.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kian Ching said the move was in line with the aspiration of the government in the National Higher Education Strategic Plan targeting three local Universities for recognition as among the 100 best in the world, and one among them, to be in the top 50, by 2020.

Among the steps were recognizing five IPTA, namely Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) as research universities.

"With this recognition, the five IPTA will boost research and development activities, commercialization and innovation," she said when replying to a question from Senator Datuk Syed Ibrahim Kader at the Dewan Negara here Tuesday.

Syed Ibrahim has asked on the steps taken by the government to boost the quality and positions of IPTA into the top 100 universities in the world.

Yap said the ministry also allocated RM600 million to the five universities to conduct high impact research in strategic sectors such as nano technology, automotive, bio-technology and aero space.

Furthermore, the ministry also gave autonomy to seven IPTA, namely UM, USM, UKM, UPM, UTM, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) based on the Code of Good Governance.

"With continuous effort formulated by the ministry to empower the quality and awareness of IPTA of their respective performances, it could become a catalyst in realizing the national aspirations to be an international education hub," said Yap.

Answering a supplementary question from Syed Ibrahim on the failure of IPTA to be among the best in the world, Yap said among the factors which the ministry had identified was failure to publish researches in English.