There was mixed news for British universities as 10 were named in the top 100 universities in the world, while others slipped off the chart, according to new league tables released on Wednesday.
Six of the UK institutions who made the cut are in London, making the capital the best city in the world for higher education.
Results from the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014 show an improvement for the UK, who are up from nine entries in 2013, but still behind 2012's result of 12.
The UK has the second most institutions in the rankings after the United States who make up nearly half of the top 100 with 46 entries.
The University of Cambridge is the UK's highest entrant at fourth, with Oxford following in fifth.
There was one UK loss from last year as the University of Bristol fell out of the world's top 100. Leeds lost its spot in the top 100 last year and Sheffield dropped off the list in 2012. Four of the UK entrants made improvements on their rankings last year.
Some have claimed that the decline of some of the UK's biggest university brands is worrying.
Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings, says: “The UK has lost three big-name universities from the list of the world’s 100 most prestigious institutions since the rankings were first published in 2011. In 2012, the University of Sheffield exited the rankings; in 2013 the University of Leeds followed suit; and this year the University of Bristol misses out.
"Given how important global reputation is in attracting top international talent, collaborations and investment, this is cause for concern. The UK has some of the world’s biggest university brands: we must protect them.”
Results put Imperial College London in 13th position, up from 14th in 2013, followed by London School of Economics and Political Science in 24th, up from 25th.
University College London and King's College come in at 25th and 43rd respectively. The University of Edinburgh matches last year's ranking of 46th and Manchester sits in the 51-60 band, down from 47th last year.
The London Business School and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are both new entries in the 91-100 positions.
Bahram Bekhradnia, president of the UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute, says the UK's results are impressive, but the decline of some institutions does not bode well for future British research.
“Given the UK’s size, this survey suggests we are still punching above our weight as far as research performance is concerned: at more than four times our size, the US has only around four times the number of universities in the top 100.
"What is worrying though is the apparent deterioration in the reputation of a number of our universities. At a time when despite economic problems others have sought to protect their research investment, we have seen a real-terms decline, which could amount to over 20 per cent in 10 years. We should expect our research output to follow: it is difficult to imagine why not."
The rankings have been shown to be one of the most important influences on where students choose to study, according to research.Suggest a correction