Just seven higher education institutions in England and Scotland have ranked in the top 100 of a newly released world university league table.
Of those, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London (UCL) and Edinburgh were the only British universities to feature in the top 50, in a league table dominated by US institutions.
Harvard University came top, closely followed by Stanford University. Oxford placed third in the league, with Cambridge sitting in fifth place.
The league was compiled by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), based in Saudi Arabia. The rankings system takes into account the quality of the learning environment, in addition to the quality of research, and the prestige of the faculty.
In total the UK managed only seven universities in the top 100. Manchester University and Kings College London ranked 72 and 75 respectively.
The news comes after a recent study revealed nearly 60 per cent of senior university figures cited funding implications as an impediment to improved university experience and research.
The ranking is the first of its kind to move away from analysis partially based upon results from surveys, instead relying upon ‘seven objective and robust indicators’. These factors include: quality of faculty members, publications, influence, citations, patents, alumni employment, and quality of education.
Interestingly, the CWUR notes that, in addition to research performance and other more traditional indicators of excellence, the quality of a university’s alumni significantly increases its ranking.