After the surpluses of the early and mid 1990s, the labour market for both nurses and teachers is very tight. Making good decisions intended to prevent seriously damaging shortages (or surpluses) needs the evidence of good supply and demand projections. The paper will critically examine projections that have been used, rightly or wrongly, to inform policy (especially university intakes), and outline the features of useful projections for particular circumstances. The inter-relationships between 'quality' and 'quantity' will be considered - in practice, in policy, and in rhetoric. There will be examination of the interests of various parties (university-based educators of the professions; university administrations, graduates, members of the professions, their unions, their employers, and students/patients) - how these interests have been expressed, and understood by other parties, and how actual policies and practices have been affected.