There are multitudes of ways that institutions now view their students. Many of these perceptions can be influenced by cultural and historical traditions, with tensions existing between the ‘students as customers’ narrative opposed to the ‘students as partners’ approaches which are drawn on in this chapter. The roles, discussions, practices and meanings of student engagement in higher education vary globally. However, this chapter will discuss the benefits and considerations in creating meaningful and transformative relationships between students and staff in our higher education communities in relation to educational developments. This chapter will consider some international cases, which illustrate alternative ways of creating and supporting roles for students to work collaboratively with staff to enhance academic and educational development. Moving beyond ideas of ‘students as consumers’, these examples offer approaches of working with students which focus primarily on the purpose of engagement in a particular context and shape relationships in ways that develop and enhance the teaching and learning environment within an institution. We identify several principles for student engagement drawn from the literature and the cases which can shape relationships between students and staff to develop productive cultures of engagement towards academic development.