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„Education and sciences require an international perspective. In an increasingly interconnected world, this is the only way in which we can understand and shape processes of transformation.”

Dr. Andrea Kölbel
+49 (0) 30 310078-5633

Focal areas of work

  • Education & Research
  • Mobility
  • Internationalisation of higher education
  • Sustainability of research and sciences
  • Studies of international and forced migration

Curriculum Vitae

As a social and economic scientist, Andrea Kölbel is specifically interested in the implications of internationalisation and enhanced levels of mobility for higher education. She holds a doctorate in human geography from the University of Oxford and an MBA from the Central European University in Budapest. As a research associate at the Freie Universität Berlin, she helped to set up international university collaborations and taught on the topics of sustainability, globalisation and forced migration. Previously, she served as an education officer for the UN refugee agency in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Since 2018 she has been working for the VDI/VDE-IT as a project manager for the Tenure-Track-Programme and as an advisor for research projects developing digital solutions for refugees and other international students interested in obtaining higher levels of education. To this end, she can build on extensive experiences in the planning, implementation and evaluation of education programmes.


  • Kölbel, A. (2020) In Search of a Future: Youth, Aspiration, and Mobility in Nepal. Oxford University Press.
  • Kölbel, A., et al. (2019) Between camp and campus: From access to completion of higher education as form of refugee protection. Siirtolaisuus-Migration 45(1): 44-47
  • Kölbel, A. (2019) Shaping sustainability discourses through academic writing. University Alliance for Sustainability, Spring Campus Conference, Berlin. April 5, 2019.
  • Kölbel, A. (2018) Imaginative geographies of international student mobility. Social & Cultural Geography. Published before print DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2018.1460861.
  • Kölbel, A. (2018) Between Camp and Campus: Mapping the Field of Higher Education in Refugee Protection. Panel chair together with Eveliina Lyytinen. IASFM Conference, Thessaloniki. July 26, 2018.  
  • Kölbel, A. (2017) Global Students: Mapping the Field of University Lives. International conference organised together with Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka and Susan Thieme. Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung, Bielefeld. December 7 - 9, 2017.
  • Kölbel, A. (2017) A history of higher education in Nepal: From urban elitism to global aspirations. In Letchamanan, H. et al., eds. Education in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Islands. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Pages 183-201.
  • Kölbel, A. (2017) Nepal’s Educated Nonelite: Reevaluating State-Provided Higher Education. In Shah, M. et al., eds. Bridges, Pathways and Transitions, Chandos Publishing London: Elsevier. Pages 173-188.
  • Kölbel, A. (2013) (De)valuing higher education: educated youth, generational differences and a changing educational landscape in Kathmandu, Nepal. Comparative Education, 49(3): 331-343.
  • Kölbel, A. (2013) Unravelling young people's future aspirations. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference. London. August 30, 2013.
  • Kölbel, A. (2013) Nepal's change agents: educated youth and their involvements in the local labour market. Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya. Kathmandu. July 24, 2013.
  • Kölbel, A. (2013) Working students: negotiating career aspirations, social expectations and economic needs in Kathmandu. Britain-Nepal Academic Council Study Day. Edinburgh. April 19, 2013.
  • Kölbel, A. (2012) Reaching for abroad: students' aspirations and realities in Kathmandu, Nepal. International Conference on Geographies of Education. Loughborough. September 10, 2012.

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