The University of Oxford is leading the Times Higher Education World University Rankings table for the first time, elbowing out five-time topper California Institute of Technology, which has now been pushed to number two in the World University Rankings 2016-2017.

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A group of graduates gather outside the Sheldonian Theatre to have their photograph taken after a graduation ceremony at Oxford University.Reuters

There are a few things that the institution did right to achieve what it has today — teaching, research, citations and international outlook. The research work done at the university is extensive and influential, which is why it is being preferred by international candidates.

Following the top two are Stanford University on number three, followed by University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A look at their overall points reveals that they aren't too far behind one another and that only a few decimal points keep them from achieving the top spots.

Oxford has pulled off 95.0 points this year, while California Institute of Technology has managed 94.3. Stanford, Cambridge and MIT take home 93.8, 93.6, 93.4 points, respectively.

Harvard University, Princeton University, Imperial College London, ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, University of California, Berkeley and University of Chicago are the other universities in the top 10 list.

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The entrance of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology.Reuters
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Cyclists traverse the main quad on Stanford University's campus in Stanford, California, U.S.Reuters
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People are seen punting on the River Cam in Cambridge, eastern England in this October 28, 2011 file photograph.
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A man walks through Killian Court at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Reuters
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Students attend a service before the 365th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.Reuters
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Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is seen in Princeton, New Jersey.Reuters
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A faculty building of Imperial College London, Britain.Reuters
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A general view shows the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zuerich - ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.Reuters
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A couple sits in front of Doe Library at the University of California at Berkeley in Berkeley, California.Reuters
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U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.Reuters