Poverty in the region can be analyzed through the deep analysis on trends in national poverty lines, the distribution pattern of poverty incidence among rural/urban areas, across gender and various socio-economic classes, and the governments’ efforts to eradicate poverty through various poverty alleviation programs. The various ongoing policies aimed at maintaining, indeed accelerating, decline in poverty levels, such as, macroeconomic stability; focus on agriculture, roads and telecommunication as sectors for pro-poor growth; safety nets for the poor; and improved delivery of basic services were particularly highlighted. The role of higher education is considered to be one of the important tools for poverty alleviation and many efforts have been made to broaden such access for poverty eradication.
Realizing the impact roles that can be played by universities/ higher education institutions, a network which was collectively known as Regional Network on Poverty Eradication (RENPER) was established. The RENPER aims at strategizing, energizing, and synergizing ideas and efforts by academicians, individually or institutionally, in poverty eradication within the region. RENPER hopes to be the platform for the sharing and best practices of initiatives and strategies for poverty eradication in the participating countries. The network was launched by the Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia, in October 2010 in conjunction with the UNESCO World Decades of Poverty Eradication. An inaugural seminar was organized by University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Malaysia, in Kelantan Malaysia,
during the launching of RENPER, 26 – 28 October 2010.
Realizing the strong commitment and support, University of Bengkulu (UniB) established the RENPER Institute under the Office of Vice Rector for Cooperation Affairs in 2011. Since established, the UniB RENPER is committed to being a center for the advancement of sciences and technology which promotes to poverty eradication. Appropriately, the UniB RENPER presents excellent and conducive academic atmosphere for research and development on poverty issues. We also present services for student, community, government, and industries to discuss research proposals, programs, and projects. Our main research and development program is designed to respond to emerging requirements of the university contribution for poverty eradication.