Young Scholars: An Alternative Thinking on Knowledge Diaspora

Yunus Emre Institute in London is delighted to announce the upcoming Young Scholar Seminar Series talk on An Alternative Thinking on Knowledge Diaspora on Thursday 18th of January 2024 at 19:00 pm (UK Time) with Tugay Durak.

An Alternative Thinking on Knowledge Diaspora

The least favourable aspect of international academic mobility is often perceived as the brain drain it causes for the source countries. Consequently, the mobility of researchers and scientists remains somewhat overlooked. However, scholarly attention has increasingly focused on exploring possible strategies to mitigate the loss of such talents. Moreover, there is a growing recognition that the international academic community can play a pivotal role not only in developing their home countries but also in the internationalization of higher education and global knowledge production.

In this presentation, I delve into the multifaceted and interlinked roles of academic diasporas, with a specific focus on UK-based Turkish academics as a case study. This exploration is based on 50 interviews conducted with UK-based Turkish academics.

The findings underscore the critical roles played by UK-based Turkish academics in supporting their fellow nationals and contributing to Turkey’s development. These roles include actively participating in knowledge production related to Turkey, offering mentorship to junior scholars and students, engaging in co-authorship, collaborative grant applications, and hosting visiting fellows from Turkey, among other activities. Despite challenges posed by heavy workloads, the absence of institutional initiatives, and the fragmented nature of the Turkish knowledge diaspora, the study reveals that the strong desire and individual commitments among Turkish academics hold the potential to make a promising contribution to Turkey and global knowledge production. Their efforts also serve as an example for similar countries grappling with the issue of brain drain. Lastly, the activities in which the academic diaspora engages, such as co-authorships, transnational partnerships, and hosting fellow nationals, directly contribute to the internationalization of higher education. Therefore, these endeavours warrant both policy and scholarly attention.

Tugay Durak is a PhD candidate and postgraduate teaching assistant at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, and he focuses on the Turkish academic diaspora in the UK. Last year, he worked at a British Council project aiming to promote higher education partnerships between Turkey and the UK. In 2019, he completed his master’s degree at the same institution about international scholarships for academic mobility. Before his postgraduate studies, Mr Durak had taught Mathematics in Istanbul for four years at the secondary level. He took his bachelor’s degree from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Date: Thursday 18th January 2024

Time: 7 pm

Venue: Yunus Emre Institute in London, 10 Maple Street, London, W1T 5HA

Traditional Turkish Refreshments will be served.

Register Here