By Shadi Bushra
LONDON (Reuters) - Leading Asian universities are catching up with their competitors in Britain and the United States in rankings, measuring everything from reputation to research funding, released on Wednesday.
The top institutions in Japan, South Korea, China and Singapore generally rose in the annual index published by Britain's Times Higher Education magazine, continuing a "power shift from West to East," its rankings editor Phil Baty said.
"More Asian institutions are nipping at the heels of the best in the West, increasingly occupying world top 50 places and showing no signs of letting up," Baty said in a statement.
The World University Rankings were still dominated by the United States and Britain, which together held the top 13 spots and more than half the top 200.
The United States had 77 of the top 200 and California Institute of Technology (CalTech) took the top spot for the second year in a row.
Britain hosted 31 of the top 200 with London alone home to more leading universities - six - than Japan or South Korea, which have five and four, respectively.
Many European institutions saw their ranking fall, which the magazine put down to a decline in investment during economic recessions. But universities in Sweden, Denmark and Norway improved their positions this year.
The rankings, which are compiled using data from Thomson Reuters, take into account an institution's reputation among academics, the staff-to-student ratio and the amount of research funding coming from industries.
The biggest proportion of a university's ranking - a third - comes from how frequently its research is cited by academics.
The European Commission is working on an index of at least 500 universities across the world that it says will take in more metrics. U-Multirank is due to be released in early 2014.
(Reporting By Shadi Bushra; Editing by Andrew Heavens)