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1 October 2015, 08:31
Five Scottish universities feature in the top 200 in this year's World University Rankings - and all five have improved their performance since last year.
The universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Aberdeen and Dundee all appear in the latest top 200 in the Times Higher Education's global league table.
Sector leaders said the figures show Scotland punches above its weight in the field of higher education, with the country having more universities per head of population in the top 200 than any other nation.
The University of Edinburgh tops the Scottish list, having risen 12 places to 24th. Glasgow University comes next at 76th, improving on its ranking of 94 last year.
The University of St Andrews also makes it into the top 100 this year, having risen 25 places to 86th in the world.
Aberdeen University is 172nd on the list, improving on its ranking of 178 in 2014. Dundee University re-entered the top 200 with a placing of 185 on this year's table.
Education Secretary Angela Constance said the results show a "very strong'' performance for Scottish universities and echo other recent findings.
She said: "To see five institutions back in the top 200 and all five substantially improving their placing again demonstrates that our higher education institutions are up there with the very best in the world.
"We really do punch above our weight and thanks are due to the hard-working staff and students that have made this possible.''
Universities Scotland's director Alastair Sim said: "Scotland now has more universities in the world's top 200 per head of population than any other nation, making us one of the world's strongest higher education systems.
"Behind Scotland's strong performance in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an autonomous higher education sector delivering record levels of world-leading, impactful research and producing highly-skilled graduates with the best employment prospects in the UK.''
Overall, the UK boasts nearly one in 10 of the top 800 institutions in this year's rankings.
The University of Oxford is in second place while the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London also make the top 10 in fourth and eighth places respectively.