Young Scholar Seminar Series 24: Tugay Durak

On the 18th of January of 2024, Yunus Emre Institute London was honoured to host another spectacular talk for the 24th session of the Young Scholar Seminar Series 

Tugay Durak is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society in London, UK. His research dives into the world of Turkish academics living abroad, especially those in the UK. Tugay focuses on unravelling the mysteries of higher education, from global connections and the movement of students and teachers to the vast academic landscape and the exciting world of knowledge and academic diaspora.  

In his talk, Durak talked about the impact of academic diasporas, especially UK-based Turkish academics, on their home countries and global knowledge production. He argued that academic diasporas can play a positive role in mitigating the brain drain problem and enhancing the internationalisation of higher education. Durak presented the findings of his study based on interviews with UK-based Turkish academics, who are involved in various activities that support Turkey and the international academic community and called for more attention to the potential and challenges of academic diasporas. 

Furthermore, Tugay Durak expressed his passion and enthusiasm for further development of his country, and how he and other scientists strived to contribute to its development through their research and collaboration. He highlighted the potential and challenges of cooperation between Turkish and British institutions and researchers, and suggested some ways to overcome the barriers, such as official invitations, funding, and long-term agenda. 


To conclude, he addressed the issue of lack of connection between the Turkish migrant groups in the UK, and the factors that caused friction among them, such as political perspectives, marginalisation, and affiliation. He proposed some solutions to improve the communication and solidarity among these groups, such as holding more events at the Turkish embassy, which he considered a neutral area. He answered the questions from the audience with honesty and insight and thanked them for their attention and interest.