Harvard University has once again been chosen as the top university by Times Higher Education magazine.

The annual 2012 World Reputation Rankings are based on the world's largest survey of academic opinion and provide a unique insight into the shifting academic prestige of institutions.

The is followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , the University of Cambridge, Stanford University, the University of California , Berkeley and the University of Oxford.

In terms of representation on the top 100 list, the U.S. and UK are followed by Japan and the Netherlands with five institutions each, and Germany, Australia and France with four each. In total 19 countries/regions are represented.

"In a highly competitive global marketplace, those universities who enjoy the best reputations get to reap all the spoils - taking their pick of the best professors, creaming off the most talented students (whose degree certificates will be a passport to career success) attracting the most lucrative research partnerships and business contracts, as well as persuading benefactors to part with their money. When it comes to global prestige, the winner takes all," said Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings.

"But while top reputations can take many years, even centuries to build, in today's information-rich, fast-moving and interconnected world, universities cannot sit back and rely on their history. New forces are emerging and signs of declining performance among the establishment are quickly identified, shared and spread. Established reputations can be highly vulnerable." he added.

Have a look at the top six universities on the list.