British universities Oxford and Cambridge remain at number one and two respectively in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with USA institutions dominating the top 100 places in the list.
Oxford University took out first place in the world for the third year in a row with University of Cambridge coming in second and Standford placing third.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is still Africa's top university.
After years of decline and stagnation, Japan's universities have made "some solid progress" this year, according to an influential ranking of the world's top universities released Wednesday.
The UW also is fourth among US public institutions - behind UCLA, UC Berkeley and the University of MI - a position it has held for the last three years. A Chinese university has topped Asia rankings for the first time since the current methodology was adopted in 2011.
Phil Baty, Editorial Director of Global Rankings for "Times Higher Education" said: "India's bursting with innovation and ambition - the nation has serious potential to grow into a leading player in global higher education". THE uses five criteria to rank universities: teaching, research, citations, worldwide outlook and industry income.
Tsinghua University in Beijing has overtaken the National University of Singapore as the top institution in the continent, after rising eight places to 22nd, representing the greatest rise in the top 30.
Earlier this month, Johns Hopkins came in at No. 10 in U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Colleges rankings.
Canberra's Australian National University also just made it into the top 50, coming in at 49th- slipping one spot from a year ago.
California Institute of Technology, which was tied with Stanford University a year ago at the third spot, is now ranked fifth.
Mahidol University, previously deemed best in Thailand, fell from the 501-600 band to the 601-800 band this year.
As the top ranked Canadian school, the University of Toronto placed 21st on the list, followed by UBC at 37 and McGill, which landed at 44, a tie with the Technical University of Munich.