Educational Progress of Children of Turkish Descent in the Netherlands

Maurice Crul

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The educational position of children of first-generation Turkish parents is widely considered problematic both in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. Together with children from the Maghreb, Turkish children occupy the lowest position on the educational ladder. This however masks the fact that in twenty years spectacular gains in education have been made. More than a quarter of Turkish youth now enter higher education. This article describes these gains and tries to explain how they came about. A crucial factor is the changing attitude towards education in the Turkish community. Education increasingly has a positive connotation. Equally important is the growing expertise and knowledge available within the community. In the close-knit Turkish community, educational resources find their way to more and more youngsters in the form of help and support by older siblings and community projects.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Crul, Maurice. Educational Progress of Children of Turkish Descent in the Netherlands. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2009, vol.11, no.2, pp. 195-211, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.

About the author:

Maurice Crul is working as a senior researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam. He has published on school careers of children of immigrants in a comparative European and transatlantic perspective. He is the international coordinator of the TIES (The Integration of the European Second-generation) project that compares second-generation Turkish, Moroccan and former Yugoslavian youth in fifteen cities in eight European countries: E-mail: M.R.J.Crul(at)

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