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Universities ranked

The US accounts for 72 of the world's 200 best universities, according to the annual international league table compiled by Times Higher Education. Based on a number of criteria, including teaching, research and knowledge transfer, the table put Harvard top.

Only five British institutions are ranked in the top 50, with Cambridge and Oxford in joint sixth place. Only one Scottish university has made it into the top 100 - Edinburgh - but it has slipped from being in the top 20 last year to 40th.

In terms of the total numbers of universities in the top 200 places, Germany has gained ground on the UK by registering 14 institutions, followed by the Netherlands (10), Canada (nine) and Australia (seven).

Asian institutions make up an eighth of the top 200, with the continent's tally of 25 delivered by China (six), Japan (five), Hong Kong (four), South Korea (four), Taiwan (four) and Singapore (two).

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