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Nine UK universities in the latest world top 100

Cambridge is in fifth and Oxford tenth - but the field is dominated by prestigious American colleges

The UK has nine universities in the latest rankings of the world’s best, with Cambridge retaining its impressive fifth place slot.

Compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the league table is based largely on six research-orientated measures and topped yet again by America’s esteemed Harvard University. Cambridge’s direct rival, Oxford, reappears in tenth, with another seven universities making the top 100.

Swansea University is a notable casualty of the list, dropping off for 2013, but University College London and Imperial College London remain steadfast in 21st and 24th place respectively.

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There’s been some improvement for UK institutions, with the University of Bristol rising six places to settle at 64th, Kings College London shuffling up one to 67th and the University of Nottingham jumping three to 83rd. The University of Manchester is in 41st place, with the University of Edinburgh in at 51st.

The rest of the top 10 are all American institutions: Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Columbia and Chicago.

Shanghai Jiao Tong ranked universities by indicators of academic or research performance, including alumni and staff who have won Nobel Prizes or Field Medals, highly-cited researchers, papers published and indexed in major publications and per capita academic performance.

Cambridge is ranked in the top five for natural sciences and mathematics, life and agriculture sciences, mathematics and chemistry. Meanwhile, the Times Higher Education rankings for 2012/13 suggest that the UK has three universities in the world’s top ten for arts and humanities (Oxford, Cambridge and University College London) and three for life sciences (Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London).