Cambridge has fallen out of the top three ranked universities in the world, as British institutions slip behind following the Brexit vote.
The QS World University Rankings, which began 12 years ago, places Cambridge as fourth best in the world, its lowest ranking yet. Last year it slipped from second to third.
The trend is matched by most western European universities, with institutions in Germany and Britain also falling, as the rest of the world marches ahead.
Russian and South Korean universities have risen significantly, while China’s Tsinghua university and the National University of Singapore have also excelled.
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Oxford remains in sixth place overall, with University College London also holding steady in seventh.
However American universities remain at the top of the tree, with MIT retaining its number one spot for the third consecutive year.
The decline in European universities has been attributed to funding cuts, as investment continues elsewhere in the world.
Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, said: “Institutions in countries providing high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or the public purse, rise.
“Conversely, Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending lose ground to their US and Asian counterparts.”
The rankings include 916 universities from 81 countries. 33 countries feature in the Top 200.
The US dominates, with 48 institutions, ahead of the UK (30), Netherlands(12), Germany (11), Canada, Australia (9), Japan (8), China (7), France, Sweden and Hong Kong (5).
2016 2015 Top 20 universities
1 1 MIT US
2 3= STANFORD US
3 2 HARVARD US
4 3= CAMBRIDGE UK
5 5 CALTECH US
6 6 OXFORD UK
7 7 UCL UK
8 9 ETH ZURICH SWITZERLAND
9 8 IMPERIAL COLLEGE UK
10 10 CHICAGO US
11 11 PRINCETON US
12 12 NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE SINGAPORE
13 13 NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY SINGAPORE
14 14 EPFL SWITZERLAND
15 15 YALE US
16 17 CORNELL US
17 16 JOHNS HOPKINS US
18 18 UPENN US
19 21 EDINBURGH UK
20 22 COLUMBIA US