A shortage of postgraduate researchers is hindering hi-tech projects, a university head warned yesterday. Places should be divided more fairly among the eight government-funded tertiary institutions, said Polytechnic University president Professor Poon Chung-kwong. Existing quotas discriminated against newer universities, leaving them unable to do as much industry research as they wanted to, he said. 'The Government promotes the development of information technology. Institutes should do more research. But the problem is we don't have enough research postgraduate students,' he said. 'Our places are limited and even if we get money and support from industry we do not have adequate students to help. 'What's worse, the allocation of postgraduate places is not evenly distributed. Universities such as Poly, City and Baptist have far fewer places than Hong Kong University, Chinese University and the University of Science and Technology.' Figures from the University Grants Committee show that in 1998-99 Polytechnic University had 373 research postgraduate students, City 413 and Baptist 132. Hong Kong University had 1,117, Chinese University 1,107 and the University of Science and Technology 716. 'We don't aim to become a research university. We still focus on applied studies. But we hope the Government can increase our places,' he said. Professor Poon said quality would have to be sacrificed if the Government made further cuts in its budget for tertiary education. Institutes are drafting financial proposals for 2001-2004 but there is a fear of a 10 per cent budget cut. The Polytechnic University yesterday announced the setting up of an Institute of Enterprise to explore more opportunities to conduct consultancy studies in industry.