Among the top French performers, the Pierre and Marie Curie University ranked 40th, Paris Sud moved up five places to finish 41st and the Ecole Normale Supérieure was ranked 69th.
Other high-scoring French institutions were Aix Marseille University, the University of Strasbourg, and the University of Paris Diderot, all of which were ranked between 101st and 150th.
But the list was dominated by American universities, with 16 of them featuring in the top 20 and Harvard University remaining the world's best for the 15th year.
Britain's Cambridge University moved up one place into third position and Oxford University, in seventh place, also ranked in the top ten alongside US powerhouses Stanford, Berkeley, MIT and Princeton.
The Shanghai list rates universities according to a formula based on the number of articles they have published in prestigious academic journals, the number of highly-cited researchers working there, the number of Nobel Prizes or Fields Medals (in mathematics) won and the per-capita academic performance of each institution.