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Sep 07, 2016 09:55 AM EDT

U.S. Nabs Top Spots In World's Best Universities 2016 List

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U.S. schools nabbed the top spots in the world's best universities list for 2016 by QS. This is the first list for global university rankings.

In the list, U.S. colleges occupied the top three spots. Massachusetts Institute of Technology got first place, followed by Stanford University and Harvard University in second and third, respectively.

According to Forbes, this is the first time that American schools got the first three places since the compilation of rankings began in 2004. California Institute of Technology nabbed the fifth place in the list.

U.K.'s University of Cambridge got fourth place while the University of Oxford settled for the sixth spot. They are followed by University College London (UCL) which placed seventh.

Completing the top 10 are ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Imperial College London and University of Chicago in the eighth, ninth and tenth spots, respectively. Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania were included in the top 20 list.

Forbes added that, aside from the United States' good performance in the rankings, the list also shed light on the growing challenge from Asia. The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) were able to get the twelfth and thirteenth places, respectively.

For the first time, China also has three universities in the top 50. Moreover, out of the 74 Asian universities in the top 400, 68 percent have risen in the list.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times reported that Ireland's universities are now suffering from a decade of cutbacks in the nation's higher education budget. Trinity College Dublin is the only Irish university that was able to make its way to the top 100.

"This year's rankings imply that levels of investment are determining who progresses and who regresses," Ben Sowter, head of research at the QS Intelligence Unit, said. "Institutions in countries that provide high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or from the public purse, are rising."

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