Open College Network NI launches its second annual Learner Awards

Open College Network NI, an educational charity and awarding body that advances education by developing nationally recognised qualifications for adults and young people throughout NI, is to stage its second Learner Awards ceremony at Stormont Hotel (Belfast) on 23rd March 2020.

The Learning Endeavour Awards 2020 will cover a range of categories including schools, further education and third sector learner of the year, an inspiring tutor/teacher award, health & wellbeing learner award and an educational provider award.  All applications are welcome but special consideration will be given to candidates who have overcome significant social, economic or educational barriers that were preventing them from realising their full potential.

Martin Flynn, CEO of Open College Network NI (OCNI) said: “We are delighted to announce details of our second annual Learner Awards ceremony.  Our inaugural event earlier this year was so successful we had to change to a larger venue to accommodate the number of shortlisted entries.  The event exceeded all expectations in terms of stakeholder engagement across all of our categories and we are confident that given the success of the inaugural event, we can look forward to an even bigger event in 2020. This year, we have added the additional category of Learning in Employment to recognise the excellent work that goes into this very important segment of our providers delivery programme.   

The OCNI NI 2020 Award Categories are:

o   Third Sector Learner of the Year

o   Further Education Sector Learner of the Year

o   Schools Learner of the Year

o   Health and Wellbeing Learner of the Year

o   Inspiring Tutor/Teacher of the Year

o   Provider of the Year

o   Learning in Employment Award

Martin Flynn added: “For the 2020 ceremony we will continue with the hashtag #nooneleftbehind for social media engagement, as it perfectly illustrates our commitment to ensuring that as many people as possible, irrespective of their background get an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in their chosen field of endeavour.  Our event has also been timed to form an important part of the Belfast Festival of Learning (23 – 27 March 2020) which will see a range of additional high profile events take place across the City.”

For more information on the Awards and access to free nomination forms, visit  Closing date for entries to the Awards is 12 noon on Friday 29th November 2019.  




About Open College Network (NI)

The Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI) is an Awarding Body that advances education by developing nationally recognised qualifications and recognising the achievements of adults and young people. We are an educational charity and an Awarding Body working with centres such as Further Education Colleges, Private Training Organisations, Third Sector Organisations, Schools, SME’s and Public Sector bodies to provide learners with opportunities to progress into further learning and/or employment. We are a not for profit organisation and reinvest all of our resources back into the development of new qualifications and educational resources. As an Awarding Body OCN NI develops high quality qualifications from Entry Level to Level 5 which help to meet the needs of learners and employers.  To date the educational charity has registered over 500,000 learners and has worked with over 400 organisations in the public, private and not for profit sectors.

For further information please contact Lawrence Duffy or Bronagh Cobain of Duffy Rafferty Communications on Belfast (028) 9073 0880.