Training in science, technology, and related subjects was promoted at all levels during the 1970s and 1980s. Enrollment at technical and vocational secondary schools rose from 4,510 in 1970 to 20,720 in 1985. The National University of Malaysia at Selangor, the University of Malaya at Kuala Lumpur, the University of Agriculture at Selangor Darul Ehsan, the University of Science at Penang, the Technological University at Johor Bahru, Kolej, Damansaura Utama College at Selangor, Politeknik Kuching at Surawak, and Tunku Abdul Rahman College at Kuala Lumpur offer degrees in basic and applied sciences. In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 54% of college and university enrollments. National science policy is administered by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment. The Ministry of Agriculture undertakes all aspects of research for improvement of crops. The Institute of Medical Research is a branch of the Ministry of Health.
At Kuala Lumpur are located the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FIRM), the Freshwater Fish Research Center, the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (MIMOS), and the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia.
In 1987–97, total expenditures on research and development amounted to 0.24% of GNP. During the same period, 93 scientists and engineers per million population were engaged in research and development. In 1998, high-tech exports were valued at $31.4 billion and accounted for 54% of manufactured exports.