Europe has been a mining area for centuries and has traditionally high quality programmes for mining and mineral engineering at many universities. Most are associated with the Society of Mining Professors. Changing circumstances in Europe since the nineteen-seventies, led to new challenges in the organisation of the education at the European universities in the field of mining engineering and minerals engineering, the latter including processing, metallurgy and recycling. The global market for mining and mineral processing engineers also led to a challenge: to provide an increasing number of exchange programmes for students and staff between universities and to make the education more "European" if not even international. This ensures that Europe maintains the skills in this important economic area.

In Europe around 20 Universities exist where mining-engineering (or related fields) can be studied (from Luleå to Madrid and from Portugal to St. Petersburg).

In order to optimise and enhance the quality of education, a number of universities decided to establish a joint curriculum during the final year of their study "programmes".

The industry (members of Euromines and the supply industry) support these programmes and are united in the Federation of European Mineral Programs.