The rankings is the world’s largest invitation only survey of academics.
Times Higher Education distributes the survey in 15 languages to over 10,500 academics in 142 countries.
According to the 2015 list, Harvard in the US is the world’s top university followed by UK’s University of Cambridge (2nd) and the University of Oxford (3rd) which displaces Massachusetts Institute of Technology by one rank (fourth).
Stanford in the US is placed at five and the University of California Berkley is sixth.
The rest of the top 10 is made up of US institutions: Princeton University (seventh), Yale University (eighth), California Institute of Technology (ninth) and Columbia University (10th).
London and Paris are tied for top spot as the world cities with the highest number of top ranked universities.
US dominated the list with 43 universities in the top 100. UK has the second hghest number of representatives in the top 100: 12 up from 10 last year and nine in 2013.
To be invited to take part, academics have to be published in a leading academic journal and respondents have an average of 15 years working in higher education. They are asked to nominate no more than 10 institutions that – in their expert opinion – they believe to be performing the most strongly for teaching and research.
Meanwhile universities in the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Oxford and Cambridge continued to rank highly.
Imperial College London was 14th, University College London moved up from 25th to 17th, the London School of Economics and Political Science rose two places to 22nd, King’s College London jumped 12 places from 43rd to 31st and the London Business School was ranked 91-100. King’s is one of the rising stars of the rankings, after moving up from the 61-70 band in 2013.
The UK also saw two new entrants to the top 100: Warwick and Durham universities both entered in the 81-90 group.