FOUR Scottish universities have edged up the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2014/15.
Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Aberdeen universities all performed better than last year however Dundee University dropped out of the top 200.
The latest rankings show that overall, the UK is holding its position, with 29 institutions in the top 200, more than any other country except the United States.
The rankings rate universities worldwide on 13 measures including teaching, research and international outlook - such as numbers of overseas students and staff.
In first place overall was the California Institute of Technology in the US, holding on to the top spot for the fourth year running.
Harvard was second and Oxford took third place, down one from joint second last year.
Rounding out the top five was Stanford University in the US in fourth, followed by Cambridge, which has moved up two places to fifth.
A total of 24 Asian universities now appear in the top 200 of the rankings - up from 20 last year.
Two of these - Tokyo University and the National University of Singapore - are in the top 25.
Phil Baty, editor of the rankings, said: “Overall, the UK’s representation among the world’s leading universities is declining - three leading names fell out of the top 200 this year, and two others occupy 198th and 199th place. Five UK universities lost their top 400 places. This loss of power and influence is not good for the UK’s overall competitiveness in the global knowledge economy. Also, the UK’s power is increasingly concentrated in the South East of England - the five top UK institutions in the world are all from the South East ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London. Indeed, of the nine English universities in the world top 100, six are from London and the South East.”