KUALA LUMPUR: Investments amounting to RM5.58 billion by the government in five research universities in the country from 2007 until 2015 has generated returns of RM7.17 billion, says Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh.

He said the returns were from investments in various aspects including book publications, training and consultancy.

“The success has prompted renowned world universities to collaborate with local universities in various fields of research.

“It also enabled research and studies by local universities to be used as the source of reference by foreign universities,’ he said in an interview on Bernama News Channel “Ruang Bicara” last night.

The five local public universities with the research university status are Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

Idris said besides enhancing the reputation of the country’s higher education institutions at international level, it also attracted foreigners to pursue studies, as well as foreign lecturers to work in universities in Malaysia.

He said the research universities were known for their respective fields, like Universiti Malaya in bionic prosthetics, Universiti Sains Malaysia (archaeology) and Universiti Putra Malaysia for its success in increasing padi yield through U-Putra padi.

He said it was the ministry’s hope for the research universities in the country to continue with their high-impact research, as well as enhance collaboration with industry players to achieve the objective of the Malaysian Education Development Plan 2015-2025. Bernama