Judging from the rankings, THE said, Asia's leading universities still lack the global standing that is enjoyed by many of their peers in the United Kingdom and the U.S.
Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom were the only non-American entries in the top 10, while the University of Tokyo was the highest-ranked Asian college in 13th place. Professors and researchers must be invited to vote. The list has four British universities, which are Cambridge, Oxford and London's University College and Imperial College. Stanford University and UC Berkeley rank third and sixth worldwide, respectively.
While continued investment and increased internationalisation would ensure Chinas universities continued to strengthen, Baty argued, the survey showed how hard it was to break into the traditional global elite.
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The Times list is one of the world's most respected university ranking league tables, alongside the QS World University Rankings. The University of Tokyo is also included in top 20.
Europe claims 33 spots in total - with the UK, Germany and Netherlands most well-represented.
Other US schools in the top 20 were the California Institute of Technology, Columbia, the University of MI, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell. Tokyo remains Asias most prestigious university, judged by the global academic community, but its ranking has fallen from 8th in the world in 2011, to 13th today. In 2017, Tsinghua University was ranked 48th, its first ever placing in the top 50. Meanwhile, Nanyang Technological University moved up from the 81-90 band to the 51-60 bracket.
It says the rankings were established through the world's "largest invitation-only academic opinion survey". It asks scholars to name no more than 15 universities that they believe are the best for research and teaching in their field, based on their own experience.