The top two Japanese universities, the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, dropped in an annual ranking published Wednesday of the world's best universities as judged by British magazine Times Higher Education.

In its World University Rankings 2023, the University of Tokyo fell from 35th place the year before to 39th, while Kyoto University slumped from 61st to 68th.

The magazine looked at 1,799 institutions in 104 countries and regions, evaluating their performance across the four areas of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The two universities were the only Japanese institutions in the top 200. The magazine told Kyodo News their positions fell after their performance declined in categories related to their learning environments and the number of citations in published papers.

Tohoku University, Osaka University, Nagoya University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are the other Japanese universities ranked in the top 350.

The top 10 was dominated by British and American institutions, with Britain's University of Oxford ranked first for the seventh year running. Harvard University of the United States came in second.

Asia's top university was Tsinghua University in China at 16th, followed by Peking University at 17th. The National University of Singapore ranked 19th.