Nine British universities have been ranked in the top 100 institutions in the world, as measured by the strength of their global “brand”.
Cambridge and Oxford come fourth and fifth in the list respectively, but the number of UK institutions in the top 100 has dropped from 10 last year.
The annual World Reputation Rankings, compiled by Tes’s sister magazine, Times Higher Education, uses a globally representative survey of more than 10,000 senior academics to identify “the top 100 most powerful global university brands”.
THE says that a university’s brand is vital for attracting talent, strategic partners, philanthropy and investment.
The top-rated institution in the list is Harvard University, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.
Cambridge and Oxford's rankings mark a slight change on last year, when the two institutions were joint fourth.
The drop from 10 to nine UK institutions in the top 100 is down to the exit of Durham University from the list. The other British universities in this year’s rankings are University College London, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, King’s College London, University of Manchester and University of Warwick.
All of the UK institutions have either dropped down the list compared with last year or have not moved.
The US continues to dominate the rankings, counting eight institutions in the top 10 and 44 across the top 100.
Phil Baty, THE’s editorial director of global rankings, said: “The UK has some of the most prestigious universities in the world, admired across the continents.
“But their status is in no way guaranteed – all UK universities have either fallen down the global pecking order this year or stayed static.
"This should give pause for serious thought, as the country seeks to champion its status as ‘global Britain’ in a post-Brexit world.”