The recent establishment of regional assemblies adds a further policy dimension to higher education. This paper consists of an empirical analysis of the choices made by the 1991 Northern Ireland cohort of entrants to higher education to stay in or leave Northern Ireland for universities and subsequently then for employment. The data indicate that the probability to leave was firmly linked to A level scores, though this interacted with religion and social class. The choice of labour market for most students reflected the location of university. Those who returned to Northern Ireland after graduation were less able and earned less on average than those who remained. Employment in the locality of the university improves earnings, possibly due to the information this generates for both parties.