The Republic's two main universities have climbed a prestigious league table, in a sign of their growing reputations among academics.

ritain's Times Higher Education magazine ranked the National University of Singapore 23rd best in the world, up from 27th last year.

Nanyang Technological University, which was placed in the 91st to 100th band last year, has moved up to the next highest group - 81st to 90th.

The magazine compiled its World Reputation Ranking by asking 17,554 experienced academics in 137 countries to rate universities in two areas: research and teaching. Each institution's rank was based on the number of times it was nominated as 'the best' in its field. Research was given twice as much weight as teaching when it came to working out the final score.

Harvard University topped the list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley and Oxford. Singapore Management University, which specialises in business, was not included in the exercise.