As many as 6,000 lecturers in public universities, including professors, were either terminated from their jobs or had their contracts not renewed last year due to budget cuts.
It is estimated that the total number of public lecturers has dropped to 29,000, compared with 35,000 previously.
Malaysian Academic Association Congress (MAAC) president Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Idrus Mohd Masirin said public universities had been adversely affected by the budget cuts in 2016, by at least 30% to 40%.
He said the Education Ministry’s move had forced universities to cut academic staff.
Dr Mohd Idrus said some public universities had even resorted to not hiring administration staff to keep costs low.