Finnish-British Society was established in 1926 to promote awareness of British culture and to further friendship between Finland and England, please see 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. The English teaching has since become one of the key 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 organizations.
We work together with our partners not only in the English exams space, but also in producing cultural events, e.g., talks and 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.
Please see “Our Story” for a more detailed account of our history, and “Our Team” to meet our diverse and international team.
Our values and mission were updated in autumn 2018, 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 organization, 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
We arrange English Language lessons in the Helsinki area and online to individuals and companies. Our lessons help us fulfil our mission by providing opportunities for educational development in English. We believe learning to show cultural awareness when using English enables 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 organizations; 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 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. We invite everyone to participate and/or volunteer in our events to improve your English and to meet 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
- We organize and facilitate the work of the Nursery Rhyme Time Club and the English Book Club
- We recruit non-Finnish speakers and provide them with meaningful work and a stepping-stone to a career that matches their education
- We hold and promote Study UK events and the annual Essay Writing Competition with the Federation of Finnish-British Societies.
- We provide additional “Penny Prizes” for students participating in the Annual Essay Writing competition
- We have set up a scholarship (Jones-Pinto award) to attend a Finnbrit course for free (several may be granted during a year)
- We annually grant a scholarship for a selected upper-secondary school English student (Finnbrit 100)
- We publish articles promoting the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and the need for learning and using the English language in a culturally aware manner
- We continue to offer our associated groups the use of our premises in the centre of Helsinki
- We continue work on the Finnbrit 95/100 history programs, to ensure we can pass on the stories and memories of pass generations of non-Finnish speakers, thus helping to make Finland a more diverse and inclusive place for all to succeed
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. is an independent non-profit organization governed by the Council, the Constitution and Finnish laws and guidance regarding non-profit associations. 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 volunteers. The AGM is usually held in May of each year, and all members are welcome!
The Society receives a small annual grant (in 2021: 300 euros) from the Federation of Finnish-British Societies r.y; other than this, the Society does not receive any government funding and funds its operations with the income from its services.
The Finnish-British Society owns all shares of the Finnbrit Language Centre Oy, a small, limited company, that was set up in 1996 to provide English Language services to individuals and companies in Finland. The OY is governed by a Board whose members also work on a volunteer basis. The Board consists of Council members selected to represent the interests of the Finnish-British Society, the sole owner of the company.
Finnish-British Society r.y. and Finnbrit Language Centre Oy both have their own company identifiers (Y-tunnus). Together, they are known as Finnbrit. Finnbrit is also the name / address 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 in delivering our language tests.