7 Oct 2019

Nominate your initiative for AONTAS STAR Awards 2020

AONTAS is seeking nominations from adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland for the 14th Annual STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition). The awards celebrate the positive contribution that adult learning initiatives make to adult learners, local communities and wider society in Ireland.

Speaking about the awards, Niamh O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of AONTAS said, “There is a real appetite amongst adults in Ireland to engage in lifelong learning. Lifelong learning has many benefits: it is not just a route to employment, but also allows a person to become fully active in society and to develop on a personal level.

“Adult Learning is for everyone and there is a huge range of opportunities at local level. The innovation and responsiveness of adult, and in particular community education, to the needs of the local community continues to widen participation and is remarkable. We know that there is no one-size fits all approach to engage learners. If we are going to succeed in widening participation, we must champion the innovative approaches of adult learning initiatives.

“Every year, the STAR Awards ceremony is a fantastic occasion to highlight and celebrate the positive impact adult and community education have on the lives of individuals, families and communities around Ireland.”

Since its inception in 2007 over 1,000 adult learning initiatives across a wide variety of areas – including arts, mental health, addiction and disability – have been recognised through the STAR Awards.


For 2020, nominations are invited under four categories - Adult Learning Initiatives that Support: 

Health and Wellbeing
This category is open to adult learning initiatives that support increased health and wellbeing for participants, for example mental health, physical activity and nutrition.

Third Level Access and Engagement  
This category is open to adult learning initiatives that support educational equality by providing access to adult learners from low income backgrounds/learners with disabilities into Third Level programmes and/or initiatives that promote partnership between higher education providers and local communities.

Social Inclusion
This category is open to adult learning initiatives that support all participants to effectively engage with their local community and contribute to social and cultural life, examples may include initiatives that provide participants with access to information and communication technologies.

Sustainable Employment
This category is open to adult learning initiatives that support participants to gain the necessary skills to improve their job opportunities and provide them with better quality employment.

AONTAS has partnered up with a range of sponsors this year who will be offering special prizes to winners. Sponsors so far include The Open University Ireland, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.


Nominate a Project: 

Nominate an adult learning initiative today at: https://adultlearnersfestival.awardsplatform.comDeadline Extension -  Friday, 22nd  November 2019 at 5pm.

Winners Announced: 

Winners will be announced at the STAR Awards ceremony, which will be 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 – 6th March 2020.

For More Information: 

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