Four of the top six universities in the world are in the UK, according to a new league table Tuesday.
But Cambridge University has ended its two-year run as the best institution worldwide, slipping down to second place behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the "annual QS World University Rankings".
Also included in the top spots are University College London (UCL) in fourth place, Oxford in fifth, and Imperial College London in sixth.
The other universities in the top 10 were all institutions in the United States.
In total, eight UK universities were in the top 50, and 18 overall in the top 100.
The table also shows that universities are taking on more international students than before. The top 100 universities have almost 10 percent more overseas students on average this year, compared to 2011.
And the 49 UK universities in the top 500 list have seen an 11.7 percent average increase in international students, compared to the previous year.
Six of the top 20 universities with the highest proportion of overseas students are in the UK - they are the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UCL, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), St Andrews, Imperial and Essex.
QS head of research Ben Sowter said, "The unprecedented acceleration in international recruitment reflects an escalating global battle for talent." 120,000 more international students were reported by the top 500 universities this year, suggesting the global total may now exceed 4 million."