Employing Stuart Hall's concept of representation, we examine how international organizations (IOs) are presented in the higher education literature. This paper examines how IOs, such as the World Bank, OECD, and UNESCO, are conceptualized and represented by higher education researchers. We focus on three main representations of IOs in the higher education literature: (1) Forces for convergence; (2) Mechanisms of influence; and (3) Dynamic networks. The purpose of the article is to identify analytical frameworks used to understand IOs in higher education in order to open up new concepts of IOs in the higher education literature. We will argue that new images of IOs are necessary to grasp the complexity of actors and processes used by IOs to create (and influence) higher education policy. (HRK / Abstract übernommen).