(Original post by Mr. Roxas)
You have a point. But the thing is employers play a major role in developing the caliber of the university. When the top students find out that such top employers scout more talents at Uni A than at Uni B, those top students would be more attracted to attend Uni A. (A uni that enrolls many top students will create a picture that it is a high standard university.) And, Warwick has a special relationship with many top employers, so much so, that they hire many more Warwick grads than they do Exeter grads. At most top banks and financial firms, for instance, Warwick is always included at the top of their list of unis to scout talents at. Exeter is seldom mentioned. At UBS, for example, they employ from Warwick the most. And, companies like Goldman, BlackRock and McKinsey, to name a few, regularly hire Warwick grads, something that Exeter couldn't really brag about.
I honestly find Exeter attractive. I think it has the most beautiful campus scenery out there. But many bright students such as myself do go beyond campus scenery, and thus, would consider that at the bottom of their criteria in looking for a uni to attend. Many top students go for university prestige where the top employers regularly tap talents to fill in their highly coveted positions. Some would also consider the rich history that unis like Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, St Andrews, Edinburgh enjoy. And, some, for the strength of the majors where Imprial, LSE, UCL and Warwick get into the picture. Other than the campus scenery or campus environment, which area is Exeter superior to Warwick? Warwick has many top-notched programs. For example, Warwick can rival Oxbridge/Imperial for maths. It also has a top-notched economics, politics, philosophy and English programs. Its business/management programs (for undergrad) is comparable to LSE's undergrad management programs. Its business school, the WBS, as a whole, is globally renown. And, most, if not all, of Warwick's departments are ranked in the top 10 in major league tables. Furthermore, the university - as a whole - was never ranked outside of the top 10 in its entire history. Exeter has been ranked outside of the top 10 many more times than it actually has been in the top 10.
In reality, Exeter is a really good university. It can rival unis like Bath, York, Notts or King's. Whilst Warwick is in a notch above, and enjoys being rivaled by unis like Imperial, LSE, UCL, Durham, Bristol, Edinburgh and St Andrews. Both are probably still improving, and would still climbed up in rankings through the years. But no one can actually say it for sure.