London's top universities have all seen their global standing slip in the previous year, according to the The Times Higher Education (THE).
The six "most powerful global brands" in the United Kingdom publication's annual World Reputation Rankings vary little from year to year, with Harvard at the top, then MIT, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford (tied) and then Berkeley. The top five universities in the list are Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford.
All of London's universities have lost ground. The table's Top 20 comprises 13 American universities, four from the United Kingdom, two from China and one from Japan.
Traditionally Chinese universities scored less well in worldwide ranking tables compared to U.S. and European incumbents in levels of teaching and research.
"India features in the table for the first time since 2011, with its flagship institution, the Indian Institute of Science, making the 91-100 banding", the editorial director of the rankings, Phil Baty, was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India. The United States has 44 universities in the list, up from 42 a year ago.
Baty said: It seems that Chinas relentless march up the global league tables has stalled at least when it comes to the worldwide prestige of its universities.
"This new data shows just how hard it is for emerging powers to break into the traditional global elite", he said.
"There is no cause for alarm - continued investment built upon decades of spending, alongside increased internationalization in Chinese higher education will no doubt ensure China's universities continue to strengthen".
Indian Institute of Science is the only Indian University to have made it to the prestigious list. Meanwhile, Nanyang Technological University moved up from the 81-90 band to the 51-60 bracket.
Particularly worrying is the decline of all London universities in this list.. THE noted in its analysis of the survey data that while Asia's leading universities ranked highly, the majority of votes came from academics within the university's home country.
THE World Reputation Rankings, the publication says, use the worlds largest invitation-only academic opinion survey. In 2017, Tsinghua University was ranked 48th, its first ever placing in the top 50.