Finnish-British Society was established in 1926 to promote awareness of British culture and friendship between Finland and England; please see the Constitution here. 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 who are also non-profit organisations.
We work together with our partners delivering the English language exams space. We also engage actively with our partners when producing cultural events, e.g., talks, seminars, and theatre performances in English.
All our 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 collaborate and learn in a meaningful, inclusive way with people from diverse backgrounds.
We updated our values and mission in the spring of 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.
Finnbrit is an independent non-profit organisation with a heritage of almost 100 years. The objective of all Finnbrit services in the Action Plan is to improve cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.
1. Language lessons
English Language lessons are arranged 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 providing teaching English in ways that will enable our students to collaborate in a meaningful way with people from diverse backgrounds.
2. Examination services (IELTS, Cambridge, other)
Finnbrit provides the world’s most popular and widely accepted English language tests. These tests enable test-takers to further their education and career in English, in Finland and internationally. We provide English Language exams together with the British Council and the Cambridge Assessment, who are also non-profit organisations; please see our Partners page. 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.
3. Cultural activities
We aim to make the Helsinki area a better place by offering opportunities for diverse social interaction in English. Share and/or volunteer in our events to improve your English and make new friends from different cultural backgrounds. We regularly hold events, and we actively collaborate with our associated groups and partners, namely the Finn-Brit Players, the Really Small Theatre Company, Helsinki Morrisers, and the Helsinki International Folk Club.
4. Investments in programs which enhance cultural diversity and inclusiveness by
- organising and facilitating the work of the Nursery Rhyme Time Club and the English Book Club
- recruiting non-Finnish speakers and providing them with meaningful work and a stepping-stone to a career that matches their education
- holding and promoting Study UK events and the annual Essay Writing Competition together with the Federation of Finnish-British Societies
- providing additional “Penny Prizes” for students who enter the Annual Essay Writing competition
- establishing a scholarship (the Jones-Pinto award) to attend a Finnbrit course for free (several may be granted during a year)
- granting each year a scholarship for a selected upper secondary school English student (Finnbrit 100)
- publishing articles which promote the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and the need for learning and using the English language in a culturally aware manner
- continuing to offer our associated groups the use of our premises in the centre of Helsinki centre and inviting new developments wherever feasible
- working on the Finnbrit 95/100 history programmes, 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
5. We continue to develop our operations to help us fulfill our mission. Recent examples include the translation of the website to Finnish, search engine optimization developments, and a move to electronic accounting.
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 realization 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 Association 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 lingua franca, enabling everyone in the world to communicate with one another. 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 social-cultural activities we arrange are all in English. We invite everyone, regardless of their native language or background to join. By offering events in English, we provide an opportunity to learn English in social situations and gain friends, and thereby, for example, integrate better in the 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 have our prices at the market level to ensure sustainable operations.
The Finnish-British Society owns all 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 by 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 serves the students’ interests, ensuring the quality of the education.
Finnish-British Society r.y. and Finnbrit Language Centre Oy both have their company identifiers (Y-tunnus). The RY delivers the English language tests and serves our members. It is exempt from value-added tax (VAT). The OY serves our company customers and customers who are not our members. It operates under the Limited Liability Companies Act and charges and pays, for example, the 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 the Cambridge Assessment, both non-profit organisations, in delivering our language tests.