Universities are often viewed as engines of local economic growth that could mitigate rural depopulation. However, university studies might make individuals more prone to move. We explore this issue in a quasi-experiment arising due to a sudden reduction in the number of student places at a regional university in northern Sweden in 1998. We find that the reduction in student places affected both educational choices and long-term migration. Women studied at a university further from home and became more mobile, while men neither studied nor moved. Also, to study at a distant university had a larger impact on migration than studies nearby. This heterogeneity contributes to the understanding of how education affects migration from rural areas.