Substantial beards: The new George Washington State intake for 2013


April Fool’s jokes very rarely hit the mark between satire, but this year out of all the corporate marketing gimmicks, it was students that delivered on the real pranks.

Newcastle University’s fantastic little jab at Newcastle ‘Sports Direct’ FC was particularly fine, but we've found the best of the rest of yesterday’s university pranks from around the world.

Warwick staff to stage strike over Thrift pay rise [The Warwick Tab]

There's more than a nibble of real satire in Warwick Tab’s amusingly straight report on a campus-wide strike at the University of Warwick, with staff 'from cleaners and security staff to professors and lab technicians' refusing to work in response to the Vice-Chancellor Nigel Thrift’s pay rise, wins points for one of the most believable student April Fool’s to come out.

Click here to launch a gallery of these larksome japes

Southampton to leave Russell Group [Soton Tab]

The independent student tabloid Soton Tab had a lot of success baiting Southampton University students in an article declaring that Southampton was abandoning the prestigious Russell Group in favour of a partnership with Greenwich, Reading, Aberystwyth, Newcastle and Nottingham Trent (or GRANTS), in which they would specialise in astrology, 'beginning with Uranus'.

The Daily ‘Halfasskan’ [The University of Nebraska-Lincoln]

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln ran a “Halfasskan” edition of their daily paper, which stands out as one of the best mock newspapers, with a report of the university health centre’s over-night transformation into a morgue due to privatisation cost-saving being a particular highlight.

Hipsters drawn To ‘off the list’ university [GWHatchet]

Following the very real scandal of George Washington University's status as a ranked university in American league tables being revoked due to misreported data, their student newspaper declared a surprise upsurge in applications thanks to the hipster demographic finding an appeal in its new, less 'mainstream' reputation.

Conan State University []

We might be cheating a little here, but the official opening of Conan O'Brien’s own Conan State University was definitely amusing. Conan boasts that the university is ranked as the '#2 online Burbank based five-person-facultied cold-water only university', but admits that it exists solely for getting a college basketball team to the NCAA finals and the 'butt-ton of money' such a prize promises.

Duncan Hopwood is a student brand ambassador for the i, and a Warwick undergraduate. Follow him on Twitter here.