Seven Australian universities have secured places in a list of the top 200 higher education institutions in the world, according to the Times Higher Education world university rankings.
Heading the list is the University of Melbourne (37, down from 36 last year).
Big improvements were made by the University of Sydney (58, up from 71 last year) and the Australian National University (38, up from 43 last year).
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The University of Queensland continued its impressive rise in the international standing, reaching 74 from 81 last year.
The University of Adelaide (73 last year) has dropped from the list.
Monash University (117), the University of NSW (173) and the University of Western Australia (189) round out the list of Australian entrants.
Harvard was knocked from the top of the perch for the first time in eight years by the California Institute of Technology to now sit in equal second place with Stanford University.
Oxford, in fourth place, edged past Cambridge, which is sixth.
Arts, humanities and social sciences placed on an equal footing with science in the Times rankings, which are built on what the publication terms the four core missions of a modern global university: research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.
The highest-ranking Asian university is the University of Tokyo in 30th place; China has only three universities in the top 200 list.
The Times list is one of the more authoritative rankings.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald smh.com.au