Nine universities in the UK have been named among the top 50 best in the world according to a new ranking - but cuts to funding and the potential impact of Brexit have seen institutions lose ground to other countries.
Cambridge, Oxford, University College London and Imperial made the top 10 of the annual QS World University Rankings which was topped by the US's Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Stanford, Harvard and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) also beat UK universities. Cambridge ranked fifth, down from fourth last year, followed by non-movers Oxford and UCL in sixth and seventh respectively, and Imperial in eighth place, climbing one place on last year.
"MIT is the nucleus of an unrivalled innovation ecosystem. Companies created by its alumni enjoyed combined revenues of $2 trillion, making them the equivalent of the world's 11th largest economy," said QS research director Ben Sowter.
"However, their continued dominance at the top should not obscure a changing landscape elsewhere, with other US and UK institutions making way for the best of Russia, China and India - among others."
Of the 76 UK institutions in the list of nearly 1,000, 51 dropped.
Cambridge, Oxford, London School of Economics and Imperial were ranked among the top seven based on employer reputation.
The overall ranking is also based on academic reputation, faculty student ratio, international faculty ratio, international student ratio and citations per faculty.
The nine best UK universities ranked among the world's top 50
1. Cambridge (5)*
2. Oxford (6)
3. UCL (7)
4. Imperial (8)
5. King's College London (=23)
6. University of Edinburgh (=23)
7. University of Manchester (34)
8. LSE (35)
9. University of Bristol (44)
*denotes overall ranking