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Meet the Accounting and Finance graduate supporting the next generation of underrepresented students

Since graduating from Newcastle University in 1988, Avnish Goyal CBE has enjoyed a successful career in the care industry as the founder of Hallmark Luxury Care Homes. Now, he is paying his success forward through scholarships for new Newcastle students facing hardship.

11 March 2024

Through the Goyal Foundation, Avnish is providing 10 new scholarships to Newcastle University students, providing financial support for the full three years of their study as well as covering interview expenses and other finances to help them progress after graduation: ensuring that ability, not circumstance, is what matters.

We recently sat down with Avnish to find out more about his student days, his impressive career and why he wants to help future generations of Newcastle University students.

Hi Avnish, thanks for chatting to us! Can you introduce yourself to your fellow alumni and tell us a bit about your time at Newcastle University?

I studied at Newcastle University from 1985-1988, gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. After graduating, I spent four years training to be a Chartered Accountant before joining the family business and leading the growth of the property portfolio. Later I transitioned into the Care sector to launch Hallmark Luxury Care Homes across England and Wales.

My time at Newcastle was incredibly enriching. The course curriculum had a great blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application, which aligned with my career aspirations, and Newcastle had a fantastic reputation for its vibrant student life – which I couldn’t wait to experience!

In my first year, I lived in Castle Leazes before moving to Walker and Fenham respectively in my second and third years which was quite an experience. Alongside my studies, I got involved in lots of extracurricular activities too, including the Asian Society.

My favourite memory would be the time spent with my student friends discovering the Northumberland countryside. These moments not only solidified lifelong friendships but also taught me the importance of life outside of academia and to be an all-rounder.


It’s so lovely to hear that you made lifelong friends during your time with us. And where did life take you after graduating in 1988?

Immediately after graduating, I joined Coopers and Lybrand to pursue my ACA, setting the foundation for my career in accounting and finance. This experience was instrumental in developing my understanding of the business world, leading me to join the family business and eventually to found Hallmark Luxury Care Homes.

Where did your interest in the care sector come from?

My interest was sparked by wanting to grow as an entrepreneur and also to make a difference to older people. Recognising the need for high-quality care that respects the dignity and individuality of each person, I saw an opportunity to make a difference. This led to the establishment of Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, with a mission to provide exceptional care and improve the quality of life for our residents.

Alongside growing the business, I’ve also supported the development of the Care industry through giving of my time and skills. Until recently I was Chair for Care England, the largest representative body for the care sector, for 9 years, and am currently an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society as well on the strategic advisory board of the International Longevity Centre which works very closely with the Hallmark Foundation. I also co-founded the Care Workers Charity and Championing Social Care, a sector wide initiative to shine a positive light on social care.

What is your biggest achievement in your career so far?

The growth of Hallmark Luxury Care Homes into one of the highest quality providers of care in the UK is my biggest achievement. Since opening our first care home in 1997, we now have 22 luxury care homes spread across England and Wales and our passion for helping people age with dignity has led to us receiving many awards and accolades. 

Being able to impact positively the lives of so many families, providing peace of mind and support, is incredibly rewarding. It's a testament to the hard work of our dedicated team and the vision to elevate care standards across the industry. 

I was incredibly proud to be awarded a CBE in the Queen’s last Birthday Honours List for services to social care and philanthropy, along with my wife Anita who previously received an MBE for her services to diversity and female empowerment.

We are now excited about our Inner Spark program to bring free personal development workshops to 1 million young people by 2030. The workshops are lead by inspirational program leaders covering issues like empowerment, mental health, self-harm and sexual consent.

It is through the Goyal Foundation that you are supporting future Newcastle University students. Why did you decide to give back to your alma mater?

My own transformative experience at Newcastle University made it an obvious choice, as I had first-hand experience in how the university can shape futures. I sincerely hope that the scholarships available will enable the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators.

Ensuring university accessibility for students from all backgrounds is crucial for fostering diversity, inclusivity and equality. Diversity of thought and experience enriches the educational environment, leading to more innovative solutions and a more empathetic society.

It’s unfair that financial constraints can be such barriers to potential, and so I hope that the scholarships will remove these barriers and ensure that talent and ambition are the only metrics for success.

Thanks for supporting our students, Avnish, and for speaking with us today!


Are you interested in supporting future generations of Newcastle graduates like Avnish?

Our mission to give Newcastle students the best possible opportunities is at the heart of everything we do. Our aim is to give each student the skills and experiences they need to thrive while with us, and in their future.

We don't want any student to miss out on what makes belonging to Newcastle University so special. With your help, we can fund scholarships, society memberships, sports equipment, field trips and more.

If you’d like to discuss how you can help us in this mission, please get in touch.