Aya Ferguson

Associate Consultant


Aya is highly regarded by executive teams and colleagues across multiple universities for her transformation knowledge, dynamism and facilitation skills. She builds rapport and trust to act as a critical friend to managers as well as senior leaders and coaches HE leaders both formally and informally

Aya has spent over 15 years leading teams to deliver complex change and transformation across a breadth of sectors including local and central government, health and transport, specialising in Higher Education.

Aya joined SUMS as an associate after several senior roles in UK universities including Programme Director at University of Westminster, Head of Portfolio and Change at Kingston University, Head of Change Management at King’s College London, Transformation Director at University College London and most recently Director of Change and Improvement at University of East London. Through these roles Aya delivered significant benefits including:

  • Led delivery of projects within UCL’s multi-million pound Transforming Our Professional Services programme including establishing and directing the continuous improvement function, being part of the programme leadership team as well as coaching leaders in change and transformation
  • Designed and delivered all components of change management for the £100m Bush House programme at King’s College London, which included significant changes to ways of working for academics and professional services staff
  • Developed a new Portfolio Management Office and Continuous Improvement Hub at Kingston University successfully providing oversight on over 90 projects with a value of £100m through full project lifecycles harnessing best practice
  • Established Change Management functions and services at King’s College London, University College London and University of East London.

Aya is passionate about supporting leaders, managers and employees through change and delivering people-related return on investment for institutions.

Aya has a BSc in Sociology from the University of Bath and is a qualified Prosci Change Management practitioner as well as ILM Level 7 Executive coach. In additional to this she uses transformation metholodogies including MSP, PRINCE2 and Lean and adapts these to deliver lasting improvements for clients.

Aside from a passion for supporting others through change and finding out what makes people tick, Aya loves baking and believes many a tricky stakeholder situation can be resolved with cake, leaving a legacy of Cake Wednesday behind her in most organisations she has worked with. Aya’s newest hobby is winter swimming which she is embracing with gusto since moving to Copenhagen.