The latest international university rankings have been published by the Times Higher Education, TES's sister title, and British universities take up three of the top ten ranking institutions.
The California Institute of Technology – setting for the popular American “geek” comedy show the Big Bang Theory, comes top of the chart. The rankings look at teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
Oxford (pictured) is the highest placed British university in joint second place with Harvard, Cambridge comes in seventh and Imperial College London comes tenth.
Seven of the top 50 and eleven of the top 100 are British institutions.
Britain comes second in the world for the number of universities in the top 100, after the USA, which has 46. The Netherlands comes in third, with eight universities in the top 100.
Universities minister David Willetts said the “fantastic reputation” of British universities was “a testament to the work of the universities, their academics, and the students themselves. However we can not be complacent, with other countries determined to emulate our success”.