Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the strategies undertaken by “entrepreneurial” universities to leverage their bottom-line especially in response to withdrawals of public funding. Internationalisation has been the most prominent from setting-up overseas branch campuses to aggressive recruitment drives for international students, and more recently, the launch of new programmes to attract a wider market.
Design/methodology/approach: Based on a documentary analysis, this study explores the future of curriculum development in entrepreneurial universities, using narratives around an “unconventional course” launch as a case illustration.
Findings: The findings reveal an interesting interaction of innovation, opportunity recognition, risk taking and pro-activeness at play within a university environment. The study also highlights how instructors have, in the past, based their syllabi on celebrities – from the Georgetown University to the University of South Carolina, University of Missouri and Rutgers University cutting across departments from English through sociology to Women’s and Gender Studies.
Practical implications: Overall this study captures the relationship between hip-hop artistry and poetry, as well as meeting the demands of society – societal impacts – not the least, bringing “street cred” into the classroom.
Social implications: The case illustration of a course launch at the University of Missouri linking hip-hop artists to curriculum development and pedagogy, opens up the discourse on the future trajectory of teaching and learning in higher education, with its attendant social implications – not the least for life after graduation.
Originality/value: This study provides fresh insights into the entrepreneurial potential of universities in co-branded/marketing activities with the hip-hop industry.