This master thesis investigates student participation in Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education. Student involvement at an institutional/course level leading to student partnership became an emerging topic in teaching and learning research literature. Yet, there is little research performed with an emphasis on the institutional setting where student participation (or partnership) practices are being developed. Therefore, this study seeks to look at partnership through an institutional lens. The Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education Initiative has been chosen as a context due to the students as partners rhetoric at the governance level of the Excellence initiative. Three Centres for Excellence in Education have been selected for the empirical study – Bioceed, Matric and Excited. The aim of the study was to explore and explain student participation and its development at the selected Centres. In order to provide explanation for student participation practices, the student role framework based on Olsen’s (2007) four university ideas has been developed. The student role framework defines four “ideal” student participation models: student as an apprentice; student as a pawn in political agendas; student as a democratic participant; student as a customer/consumer. Student participation has been analysed based on the rationales, forms/areas of participation and way of evolving. The data for the empirical study were collected through document analysis, semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The findings of the study revealed that all three Centres have developed their individual paths towards student participation based on their strengths and weaknesses. Four “ideal” student participation models have been reflected in one or many aspects of student participation at all the Centres. Political pressure could be understood as a starting point, the catalyst to start developing own individual institutional practices. The “student as a customer/consumer” model could be used to explain a part of student participation practices related to student input and feedback. The models “student as a democratic participant” and “student as an apprentice” have been most dominant in student participation practices at the Centres. Both models have strong traditions in Norway and they can result in successful partnership practices.