30 Oct 2019

AONTAS STAR Awards 2020 - Are you the next adult learning STAR?

Nominations sought from all over Ireland for Adult Learning STAR Awards 2020


AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation is celebrating the positive impact adult and community education has on communities by inviting adult learning initiatives from every county in Ireland to nominate themselves for the annual STAR Awards 2020.

Now in their 14th year, the STAR Awards recognise outstanding work in adult and community education. Nominations are invited from any group or organisation involved in adult learning in four categories:

Last year, Belfast-based programme, the Belfast Recovery College which provides strengths based mental health and wellbeing education was successful in the Health and Wellbeing category at the STAR awards.


Speaking about their AONTAS STAR awards win, John Morgan from The Belfast Recovery Centre, said: “The winning of the award has been a validation of the work of our staff – from admin to peer educators to professionals to senior management.   More importantly, it is a validation of our 2000 students and the new way of doing things. The new way is recovery focused, promoting Hope, Opportunity and Control where every person is valued as an individual. The STAR award will, therefore, provide recognition and publicity of this new approach helping the Recovery College breakdown barriers, transforming peers and professional mindsets alike.”

Speaking about the awards, Niamh O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of AONTAS said, ““For the last 14 years the AONTAS STAR awards have celebrated the unsung adult learning heroes in communities across the island of Ireland. Adult learning changes lives and through the STAR Awards, adult learning providers, tutors and learners have gained greater profile at regional and national level. Previous winners have told us that there was a huge increase in interest from prospective learners in the area, thereby encouraging others to return to learning. We know it can be daunting to return to learning, but our awards celebrate the most innovative adult learning initiatives that engage learners in a quality educational experience that builds confidence, supports people to get qualifications and make a few new friends along the way. We encourage all adult learning programmes to put in for a STAR award and get the recognition they deserve.”

How to nominate

To nominate an adult learning initiative, please visit:


The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday, 22nd November 2020 at 5pm.


Winners will be announced at the STAR Awards ceremony, the opening event of the Adult Learners’ Festival 2020. The ceremony will take place in Dublin on Monday, 2nd March 2020. The Adult Learners' Festival will take place from the 2nd to 6th March 2020.


The STAR Awards is proudly sponsored by the Open University in Ireland and the European Social Fund (ESF).


For More Information: 

Click here for more information or contact Barry Dolan, Communications and Membership Officer: