In the 12th century the processing and smelting of silver ore was started in the region of Freiberg. Therefore the city developed to be a centre for schools of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering. By founding the Bergakademie in 1765 the basis for the scientific tuition and research in these fields of studies was laid. Since then the Bergakademie has remained the oldest mining university in the world. During many decades excellent partnerships to industrial and economical businesses have been growing. Now they are proud of the high rate of financial backing form private sources. Close partnerships with business companies guarantee excellent working conditions for students. Here they can do internships and practical papers. They can even graduate with a PhD by working in an industrial plant. Most students graduate within the recommended duration of study.