CANBERRA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia is home to six of the world's top 100 universities, according to an International survey released on Tuesday.
The Shanghai-based Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rated The University of Melbourne as the world's 39th best university, up from No. 40 in 2017 and No. 57 in 2012, and the best in Australia.
The University of Queensland (55), Monash University (78), The University of Sydney (83), University of Western Australia (91) and Australian National University (ANU) also made the top 100 with 17 others making the full list of 500.
Australia came in third place for the most number of institutions ranked in the top 100 behind the United States (U.S.) which had 48 and the Britain with nine.
The prestigious Harvard and Stanford, both in the U.S., retained their ranking as the top two universities in the world.
The only country represented in the top 20 outside the U.S. and Britain was Switzerland with the ETH Zurich rated the best university in Continental Europe at No. 19.
ANU had the biggest drop in ranking among Australian institutions, falling 20 places from its 2016 ranking of 77.
A spokesperson for ANU said that the rankings tended "to move around each year as the rankings methodology and metrics change."
"The latest ARWU rankings show that ANU continues to sit among the very best universities in the world," the spokesperson told Australian media on Tuesday.
Western Australia's Curtin University was one of the biggest improvers, moving into the 151-200 ranking group, up from the 401-500 band in 2012.
Debroah Terry, vice-chancellor of Curtin University, said the institution was "absolutely delighted" with the ranking which she said vindicated the university's research strategy.