Won’t get fooled again? Four April Fools from the Russell Group that caught my eye

Mr. T stars in ``I Pity the Fool,'' airing Wednesday on TV Land.

Last Friday was that one day in the year where you really have to question everything you read, hear and watch online – yes, it was April Fool’s Day, a chance for brands and organisations everything to boost their engagement, show the world they have a sense of humour and have a bit of fun themselves too.

While we didn’t do anything at Warwick, there were plenty of offerings from the Higher Education sector. I’ve picked out four of my favourites from the Russell Group to bring to your attention if you haven’t already seen them. So, keep scrolling and get set for QR codes, dragons, fat squirrels and a helter skelter.

University of Cambridge: QR codes

Let’s start with Cambridge and their announcement that they were going to replace all the words on their public-facing signs with QR codes, which included making an actual real sign with an actual working QR code on it. Go on and scan it if you don’t believe me.

This one worked because it was a simple idea done well. It was also not too over the top, which I guess would be in keeping with what you’d expect from Cambridge.

Queen’s University Belfast: Game of Thrones – Dragon Hatch

Now, I don’t watch Game of Thrones so this didn’t get me as excited as it might otherwise have done, although it did also have a huge Jurassic Park feel which I can totally get on board with!

Essentially, the University claimed its clever scientists had been able to create dragon DNA and were inviting people to come and see these dragon eggs hatch. Aside from having such a cult following, Game of Thrones is filmed close to the University, so there is a legitimate link to hook this prank on. Good stuff.

University of Nottingham: Urban gym for fat squirrels

This one definitely made me titter and made excellent use of Nottingham’s campus wildlife to give everyone a chuckle – they pulled together a quick video claiming that the University’s Department of Sport is going to build a gym for their squirrels, who had apparently gotten too fat over the winter.

As well as just being fun, I really liked how Nottingham snuck in references to real life things, such as the Uni Park Active Trail. At least, I assume that bit was real!

University of Glasgow: Tower Helter Skelter

For me, this was the hands-down winner. Glasgow pulled together a brilliant video claiming that they were to install a giant helter skelter on their iconic tower. The video stars their Vice-President, the SU president and members of their estates team, and it is wonderful.

I don’t think there’s much more I can add to this other than to say a huge well done to the Glasgow team for pulling it off. Oh, that and can you please say sorry to my pal and Glasgow resident Hammond who seemed genuinely gutted when I pointed out the date.

So there you have it, what did you think? It’s a shame that the next two April Fool’s Days will fall on a weekend, although does give everyone three years to come up with something amazing for Monday 1 April 2019!

Which other HE April Fools did you enjoy? Let me know below!


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