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Higher Ed Hijinks 2018

Higher Ed Hijinks 2018

This spring my national and international travel schedule has been so intense that we’re running well behind in the production of Ten with Ken. And somehow March slipped by before we had a chance to tackle our annual round-up of higher ed April Fools videos altogether! (You can watch our elaborate anthology episodes from 2016 and 2017.)

Instead of letting April 1 pass by completely unnoticed, here’s a quick written round-up of this year’s highlights.

High Tech announcements

The usual major brands made some stunning announcements for April Fools:

Lexus announced a new “Genetic Select” DNA car customization option, in collaboration with 23andMe.

WestJet launched a new voice-activated personal assistant.

Google released a new version of “Files Go” that deletes bad jokes from your mobile device.

Honda brought its semi-autonomous driving technologies to a new mobile app to help distracted pedestrians avoid obstacles.

University of Waterloo spinoff tech company Vidyard revolutionized video communication with “GoVHS”.

RAZER promised we could overcome human limitations of memory and processing speed using Venom V2, a nanotechnology-enhanced energy drink.

Logitech launched a new tool to detect confusing “Business Speak” with its new BS Detector software.


Higher Ed announcements

But when it came to higher ed, 2018 was a relatively quiet year, since April Fool’s Day fell on Easter Sunday, and most campuses were closed for a long holiday weekend. But there were a few notable exceptions:

Memory Foam Pillows

One of the first contributions came from textbook rental company Chegg, who announced an exciting new product, the Osmosis Pillow, that allows students to “sleep on it” and absorb the contents of their textbooks.


Taco Breakthrough

The University of Texas at Austin announced a revolutionary scientific breakthrough that allows the harvesting of fully-grown, foil-wrapped breakfast tacos.



SFU Closes its Campus

BC’s Simon Fraser University never disappoints when it comes to April Fool’s videos. Their talented team has created some of the most memorable past entries.  In the past, SFU’s distinctive campus has been used as a setting for innumerable TV and film shoots, particularly for science fiction productions, from Arrival to X-Files. This year, SFU announced that its main campus in Burnaby will close entirely this summer and fall for a blockbuster Hollywood movie shoot. In return, SFU will receive a donation to support a new Science Fiction Research Centre.


Survive Skynet announced a new “Diploma of Human Survival (AI)” to prepare students to survive the robot uprising.


Lowercase Logo

Temple University announced that it would be launching a new, lower-case “t” visual identity.


Starbucks at OUF

The Ontario Universities’ Fair announced that they are rebranding for 2018 as the Caffeine Addiction Fair & Expo, and will install at least 5 Starbucks kiosks for the weekend event.


It was a pretty sparse year; our YouTube playlist includes barely a dozen examples from 2018, compared to more than 100 in 2017.


Notable higher ed examples from last year included:

SFU bans classroom wifi for a pilot project.

Mascot Changes

Sheridan College’s new mascot, the Shamster.

Wesleyan University’s new mascot, the WesSquirrel.

The University of Florida will drain the swamp and remove all associations with gators.


Campus Wildlife

Virginia Commonwealth University launched a new “Sturgeons on Call” program of therapy fish.

The University of Nottingham planned a new goose tunnel, to reroute campus wildlife.


Campus Rapid Transit

Canadian Mennonite University promoted its new cross-campus zip-line.

While Vancouver Island University announced a new campus chairlift.

and Trinity University announced a chairlift called TigerRide.


You can check out the full playlist of more than 100 2017 videos here.

And let us know in the comments below if we missed a great example!


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