The paper provides a systemic literature review and a typology of texts that discuss student resistance in the classroom in Higher Education. Analysing 134 empirical and conceptual studies published between 1988 and 2018 for how student resistance is conceptualised, this review identifies three approaches: functional-instrumentalist, critical-emancipatory and critical-functional. Presenting the three approaches in more depth, the article points to the main tenets, like supposed reasons for and suggested ways of handling student resistance. In the final part of the analysis, the paper discusses the typology in light of the current institutional background of Higher Education, including the managerial university and ambivalences of critical education. Finally, the article offers future research directions.