Britain has six of top ten universities in world

Four of the top six universities in the world are in the UK, according to a new league table. But Cambridge University has ended its two-year run as the best institution worldwide, slipping to second place.

Four of the top six universities in the world are in the UK, according to a new league table. But Cambridge University has ended its two-year run as the best institution worldwide, slipping to second place.

It is now behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the annual QS World University Rankings.

Also included in the top spots are University College London in fourth place, Oxford in fifth, and Imperial College London in sixth.

The other universities in the top 10 were all based in the United States.

In total, eight UK universities were in the top 50, and 18 overall, including Birmingham at 77th, 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 per cent 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 per cent average increase in international students, compared to the previous year. QS said there was an escalating global battle for talent.