St.Petersburg Mining University is the first technical higher educational institution in Russia. It was founded by the decree of Empress Catherine II in 1773. Last year the University celebrated its 240th anniversary. Centuries-old traditions are combined here with modern teaching methods and the University facilities are considered among the best in Russia. The total area of teaching and laboratory facilities exceeds 240 000 square meters. The University houses more than 60 laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, which allows students and scientists to carry out research of any complexity and gain new knowledge. Today the Mining University, which main campus is located in the historic center of St. Petersburg, trains more than 12,000 students on 7 departments. The University graduates work in the largest Russian and foreign companies engaged in the exploration, development and processing of mineral resources. Among them are "Total", "Verbundnetz Gas", "De Beers", "BHP Biliton", "Gazprom", "PHOSAGRO", and many others. The University of Mines is the initiator of a number of international projects such as the Russian-German Raw Materials Forum established under the auspices and with the direct participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.