AONTAS STAR Awards Celebration 2021

19 Mar 2021
On Day 4 of the 15th annual Adult Learners’ Festival (Thursday, 4th March 2021), the first online AONTAS STAR Awards celebration was hosted by Colm O’Regan - comedian, bestselling author and broadcaster. Almost 150 people came together for this uplifting online event that celebrated and acknowledged the incredible work adult learning providers have done in adapting their provision during COVID-19 to ensure learners’ needs continue to be met.

Twenty-one initiatives were shortlisted in five categories with nine winners. Winners were announced online on Monday, 1st March and for the first time ever judges highly commended the remaining twelve groups for their amazing work. To learn more about the winning projects, please click here.

The STAR Awards process and celebration took on extra significance in 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector. The integrity and celebratory nature of the awards process and celebration was maintained despite the significant challenges present. The number of nominated groups actually rose this year as adult learning projects and their learners overcame the challenges of interviewing online to impress the judging panel.

Colm O'Regan holding an AONTAS STAR Award
Categories for 2021 included:

Adult Learning Initiatives that Support:

Watch the short video below for an introduction to the amazing shortlisted adult learning projects:


AONTAS warmly thanks all who attended this event and those who participated in the Festival week. 2,557,558 people were reached through AONTAS' Festival Communications activities. More information about the Adult Learners' Festival is available here


For more information about the STAR Awards process, please email AONTAS Membership and Communications Officer, Barry Dolan: