Finnish-British Society was established in 1926 to promote awareness of British culture, and to develop trade and friendship between Finland and England; please see the Constitution. In the early days of the Society, the activities included maintaining a library and organising discussions and gatherings around themes such as music, bridge, and literature. English teaching has since become one of the main activities at Finnbrit, along with English Language testing. We provide English Language exams together with the British Council and Cambridge Assessment. We also engage actively with our partners when producing cultural events, e.g., talks, seminars, and theatre performances in English.
All these activities – English lessons, English Language tests and cultural events in English – support Finnbrit’s mission by offering opportunities to further one’s education and career, and to collaborate and learn in a meaningful, inclusive way with people from diverse backgrounds.
Our values and mission were updated in spring 2020, with an increased focus on diversity, inclusiveness, and lifelong learning; please see our values and mission below.
Our Values and Mission+–
We are committed to inclusiveness, lifelong learning, and cultural enthusiasm.
We promote diversity and inclusiveness by offering a wide range of social events, language learning opportunities, and examination services.
- Language Lessons
We continue to arrange English Language lessons in the Helsinki area and online for individuals and companies. Our lessons help us fulfil our mission by providing opportunities for educational development in English. We are committed to teaching English in ways that will enable our students to collaborate in a meaningful way with people from diverse backgrounds.
Our focus is on teaching English to adults who are already comfortable with their English skills and are looking for further development opportunities designed to stretch them in all areas of English communication. The key emphasis is on learning to interpret and use different styles of communication.
In 2022, we will explore the possibility of arranging Finnish language lessons for non-native professionals, and thereby help them and their families to enjoy integrating into Finnish society.
- Examination Services (IELTS, Cambridge, other)
Finnbrit continues to provide the world’s most popular and widely accepted English language tests. These tests enable test-takers to further their education and career in English, both in Finland and internationally. We provide English Language exams together with the British Council and Cambridge Assessment, who are also non-profit organizations. We also continue to arrange exams for many foreign universities, such as the University of London, thereby enabling our test-takers to gain access to the world’s best education, wherever it may be. 28
We continue to run the paper-based and computer-delivered tests with quality standards set by the British Council. In addition, we are preparing to offer IELTS UKVI exams as soon as possible. We will also continue to offer the Cambridge tests, and in addition to the highest-level tests (C1 and C2) we will consider offering lower-level tests such as B2 to provide our students with an opportunity to show their progress towards their desired competence level, and a sense of achievement.
The British Council will introduce IELTS Online in Finland in autumn 2022. This is likely to decrease the number of tests taken in our centre and we need to ensure our structures and processes are ready for the upcoming change.
- Cultural Activities
We aim to make the Helsinki area a better place by continuing to offer opportunities for diverse social interaction in English. We will continue to hold events and collaborate with our associated groups and partners, including the British Embassy in Helsinki and the Study UK program. We will continue to arrange events and discussions, both face to face and online, and aim to record and share many of them on our YouTube channel to serve our members outside the Capital area.
We encourage everyone to share and/or volunteer in our events to practice your English and make new friends from different cultural backgrounds.
- Investments in programmes that enhance cultural diversity and inclusiveness
…by continuing to
- offer Finnbrit members the opportunity to set up their own “pop-up” event and support it with a small contribution
- organize and facilitate the work of the Nursery Rhyme Time Club and the English Book Club
- recruit non-Finnish speakers and providing them with meaningful work and a stepping-stone to a career that matches their education
- hold and promote Study UK events and the annual Essay Writing Competition together with the Federation of Finnish-British Societies
- provide “Gem Awards” for students who enter the Annual Essay Writing competition
- offer a scholarship (the Jones – Pinto award) to attend a Finnbrit course for free (several may be granted during a year)
- grant an award to a selected upper secondary school student who has performed well in the most recent matriculation examination English exam (Finnbrit 95; based on teacher applications and recommendations)
- publish articles that promote the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and the need for learning and using the English language in a culturally aware manner
- offer our associated groups the use of our premises in the centre of Helsinki and inviting new developments wherever feasible
The Council will continue to assess ways of investing in many more programs which increase cultural diversity and inclusiveness. Work will also continue on the Finnbrit 95/100 history programme, as a way of passing on the stories and memories of past generations of non-Finnish speakers, thus helping to make Finland a more diverse and inclusive place for all to reach their potential.
- Development of Operations
We continue to develop our operations to help us fulfill our mission.
We continue to structure our operations to ensure improved flexibility and continuity. This includes adopting to the introduction of IELTS UKVI and IELTS Online during the year.
We are a non-profit organization and receive a small annual grant from the Federation of Finnish-British Societies. Therefore, we aim to maintain our pricing at the level of the market. This allows us continue operations in a financially sustainable manner.
The Finnish-British Society r.y. (later RY) is an independent non-profit organisation. The association is registered by the PRH, a government organisation responsible for keeping the Finnish Register of Associations. As per the Finnish Associations Act (https://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri/act.html), “an association may be founded for the common realisation of a non-profit purpose”; please see more information on the Finnish Registry of Associations on https://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri.html and https://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri/yleista.html.
The RY is governed by a board of trustees who form the Council. It is managed according to the Constitution of the Registered Associations and the Finnish laws, for example, the Associations Act and Tax Legislation.
Our objectives and operations incorporate our values of diversity, inclusiveness, and lifelong learning. We focus on the English language, the language that has become the world’s lingua franca. We provide our students with English Language lessons and the most widely accepted English Language tests. These qualify our students to further their international education and career and thus collaborate and learn in a meaningful, inclusive way with people from diverse backgrounds. We recruit non-Finnish speakers to run our operations, provide them with meaningful work, and a stepping-stone to a career that matches their education. By doing this, we provide our staff with a way of contributing and integrating better into the Finnish Community. The cultural activities we arrange are all in English. We invite everyone, regardless of their native language or background to join in. By offering events in English, we provide an opportunity to practise English in social situations and gain friends, and thereby integrate better into Finnish Society. The objective of all Finnbrit services is to improve collaboration and cross-cultural understanding.
The Council is elected annually in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and consists of members of the Society. The AGM tends to take place in May of each year, and all members are welcome!
The Society has accumulated its assets thanks to donations in the early years of the Society. In addition, it receives a small annual grant (in 2021: 300 euros) via the Federation of Finnish-British Societies r.y. from the Ministry of Education and Culture. For the most part, the Society funds its operations with the income from its services. We aim to set our prices at the market level to ensure sustainable operations.
The Finnish-British Society owns all the shares of the Finnbrit Language Centre Oy, a small, limited company. The OY is governed by a Board. The Board consists of Council members selected to represent the interests of the Finnish-British Society, the sole owner of the company. This arrangement ensures that the OY operates with the same principles and values as the RY. It also allows both the RY and the OY to focus on creating a learning environment that best serves the students’ interests, ensuring high quality education.
Finnish-British Society r.y. and Finnbrit Language Centre Oy both have their company identifiers (Y-tunnus). The RY delivers English Language tests and serves our members. It is exempt from value-added tax (VAT). The OY serves companies and customers who are not Finnbrit members. It operates under the Limited Liability Companies Act and charges and pays VAT. Together, the RY and the OY are known as Finnbrit. Finnbrit is also the name of this shared website.
The Finnish-British Society is a member of the Federation of Finnish British Societies. We collaborate with the British Council and Cambridge Assessment in delivering our language tests.
Find more details here.