THE University of Edinburgh is now one of the top 20 universities in the world, according to a newly published league table.
The institution climbed four places from 21 to 17 in the latest annual QS World University Rankings.
University of Glasgow also gained its highest world ranking, rising three places from 54 to 51 and University of St Andrews rose 10 places to 83.
The league table was published as the Edinburgh institution announced record levels of investment with £300 million in competitive research grants for the year 2012-13 compared with £250 million for 2011-12.
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, the university’s principal, said: “The news about our research funding figures, and our continued rise in the various world league tables, is very welcome and reflects the quality, hard work and dedication of our staff and students as well as the highly strategic support we receive from the Scottish Government.
“With such support, the university can go on producing world-leading research which has the potential to change people’s lives for the better.”
Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “I am delighted that our progress in these rankings over recent years has continued and whilst we should always be cautious about league tables, this is once again our best-ever showing.
“The QS World Rankings are significant as they confirm the reputation of Glasgow as a world-leading, research-intensive university. In the context of recent Scottish Government funding announcements, this is a very pleasing result for the University of Glasgow.”
Education Secretary Michael Russell said the news reflects the commitment of university staff and students.
“We have known for some time that higher education in Scotland is world-renowned and today’s rankings are further evidence that we punch above our weight in research and education,” he said.
“Seeing Edinburgh very much up there with MIT, Cambridge and Harvard is great news for the institution and will further enhance its global reputation. I am also very pleased to see the University of Glasgow’s success in achieving its highest-ever QS world ranking and St Andrews very impressively building on their placing last year.
“The Scottish Government invests over £1 billion annually into higher education, including an additional £13.8 million which I announced earlier this year for world-leading research at Scottish universities. This investment is supporting our improving success in the world rankings.”
Elsewhere in the top 400 rankings, University of Aberdeen climbed from 162 to 148 and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh rose from 388 to 369.
University of Dundee fell 15 places to 219 and University of Strathclyde in Glasgow dropped slightly from 254 to 257.