Against a backdrop of rising interest in students becoming partners in learning and teaching in higher education, this paper begins by exploring the relationships between student engagement, co-creation and student–staff partnership before providing a typology of the roles students can assume in working collaboratively with staff. Acknowledging that co-creating learning and teaching is not straightforward, a set of examples from higher education institutions in Europe and North America illustrates some important challenges that can arise during co-creation. These examples also provide the basis for suggestions regarding how such challenges might be resolved or re-envisaged as opportunities for more meaningful collaboration. The challenges are presented under three headings: resistance to co-creation; navigating institutional structures, practices and norms; and establishing an inclusive co-creation approach. The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of transparency within co-creation approaches and of changing mindsets about the potential opportunities and institutional beneﬁts of staff and students co-creating learning and teaching.