(STOCK) The Higher Education Ministry is committed to its aim of producing 60,000 PhD degree holders by 2023 to produce more highly-educated people and meet the nation's need for research and innovation. Pix by Ramdzan Masiam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Higher Education Ministry is committed to its aim of producing 60,000 PhD degree holders by 2023 to produce more highly-educated people and meet the nation's need for research and innovation.

Its minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said there are 23,000 PhD degree holders in the country presently.

“As of Sept 30, a total of 54,035 students had been provided scholarships under the MyBrain15 initiative, at a cost of RM800.2 million.

"The scholarships will continue to be given out and under the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM500 million had been allocated for the purpose,” he said in a reply to Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah-Kota Raja) during the Minister's Question Time (MQT) in Parliament today.

The Higher Education Ministry announced the MyBrain15 initiative earlier this year for students to further their studies under MyBrain15’s MyMaster and MyPhD programme.

He added that PhD degree programmes are also sponsored under the Academic Training Scheme for Bumiputera (SLAB) and Academic Training Scheme of Public Higher Education Institutions (SLAI) programmes.

The programmes had enabled 8,100 students to pursue master's degrees and PhD degrees at a cost of RM1.769 bil.

Additionally, the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Long-term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) and research universities had provided assistance to 8,321 researchers between 2011 and 2015 to help them pursue master's degrees and PhD degrees.

He noted that PhD degree sponsorship programmes are also offered by the Public Service Department (JPA), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), Education Ministry, Health Ministry and Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah).

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