Leading article: All in the family

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The Independent Online

The decision by Ucas to require university applicants to say whether their parents went to university will give admissions tutors a new piece of information in deciding whether to accept candidates. The big question, of course, is: what will they do with this information? Universities maintain that they admit students on the basis of their potential. But how do you measure potential? This is the reason we have exams - to give a moderately objective measure of an individual's achievement and abilities. But what we seem to be drifting towards is a set of criteria that are making the selection system more subjective. We should beware of this.