AONTAS Adult Learners Festival
15 Feb 2021

AONTAS Adult Learners Festival


The 15th annual AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival will take place from 1st – 5th March 2021. While AONTAS usually encourage adult learning providers throughout Ireland to open their centre doors for free open days, events and workshops, this year will look a little different as they adapt to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in place. In 2021 they will run their first ever virtual Adult Learners’ Festival online.

By building partnerships and working together at local and national levels, we will send a strong message of hope to Ireland’s Adult Learning sector and promote the importance of Educational Equality and Mitigating Educational Disadvantage in a time of COVID-19.

Better Together

The theme of this year’s festival is “Building Back Better Together – #BetterTogether”. While we can’t come together for our usual in-person events, we are excited to collaborate with our members and organisations in the sector to deliver an exciting calendar of virtual events and opportunities to engage online.

Join us and get involved from 1st – 5th March – this is your week to highlight the incredible work that your organisation has been doing, so let us join together to raise the profile of adult learning across Ireland.

How Can You Get Involved?

You can be part of the Adult Learners’ Festival in a number of ways. The free resources and online supports below offer opportunities to engage with the festival online and to organise an event as part of the festival calendar. We encourage adult learning providers to use the Festival week as an opportunity to open up online classes, information sessions or coffee-catch ups to the public. While these events are usually open to your local public, virtual events offer a good opportunity to reach learners nationally. Additional supports and information around this is available below. AONTAS will promote all Festival events through our communications channels which had a reach of over 5.2 million in 2020. 


Join an AONTAS Event

AONTAS is organising a series of online events from Monday, 1st – Friday, 5th March. We encourage you to check this schedule on our events page here and register for any that are of interest to you.

These events are organised in line with a theme per day.

  • Monday – Sustainable Development through Education
  • Tuesday – Learner Voice
  • Wednesday – Health & Wellbeing
  • Thursday – Social Inclusion
  • Friday – Third-level Access and Engagement 


Host your own Event

AONTAS encourage you to host an event during the Festival too. Maybe you would like to organise a “taster session” or “open day” event that showcases your organisation’s work or the courses available. Alternatively, you may like to invite your learners to attend a virtual coffee/tea morning. Ideas for organising an event are available in the Festival Communications Toolkit. You can submit your online events to the One Step Up calendar (events must be free of charge). 

Find out more