EPN ROUNDTABLE: Prof. Dr. Baki Topal, The Educational Integration of Belgians with Turkish origins in Europe

09 January 2015 19:30

Fedactio @ Paleizenstraat 27, 1030 Schaarbeek, België



Prof. Dr. Baki Topal

The Educational Integration of Belgians with Turkish origins in Europe

Why higher education is getting unpopular among Belgians with Turkish origins in Europe?


Observations and researches show that the educational attainment rate among Turks living in Europe is alarmingly low. But while the education level in Turkey is gradually improving, what is the reason behind the dim education statistics of Turks in Europe? What is the relation between this situation and the language learning difficulty? Is there sufficient encouragement for higher education? What is education’s impact on the integration of Turks in European societies? Dr. Baki Topal will discuss the answers to these questions at the next European Professionals Network (EPN) roundtable on 9 Jan. We kindly invite you to this event which will also include the common difficulties Turkish doctors experience in Belgium.


Brief Background of  Prof. Dr. Baki Topal

 Moving with his family to Belgium at the age of five, Baki Topal gained his medical degree (cum laude) in 1990 from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL). Having finished his 6-year surgical education in 1996, he sub-specilaized for another year in hepatobiliary and pancreatic (HPB) surgery and liver transplantation at the University Hospitals Leuven (UZL), Belgium. In 1999 he did a 4-month clinical fellowship in liver surgery and transplantation in King’s College London, Paul Brousse Paris, and Eppendorf Hamburg. In 2003 he finished his PhD-thesis and received his doctoral degree in Medical Sciences to become Professor of Surgery at KUL. Since 2005 he’s active as Head of Clinics in the department of Abdominal Surgery at UZL.  Since 2013 Baki Topal is Head of the Laboratory of Abdominal Surgical Oncology at KU Leuven. In 2014, His Majesty King Filip of Belgium honored Baki Topal for his scientific achievements, as Commander in the Order of the Crown.


Report of the event:
EPN hosted a roundtable discussion with Prof. Dr. Baki Topal on Jan. 9, 2015 about the problems and challenges the Turkish people in Belgium face, bringing solution suggestions to the table. Mr. Topal and the participants including doctors, academics, psychologists and educationists have come to the conclusion that efficient dialogue between teachers, parents and children is essential for the success of the Turkish students in Belgium. Another key success factor is overcoming the language barrier. Learning French or Dutch well at an early age leads to success in higher education. Other suggestions offered at the roundtable were being more careful about choosing a school for children and being more involved in their education.

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