The Russell Group says it is unconvinced by a decision to ask all university applicants about their parents' educational backgrounds and occupations. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service caused controversy when it announced this week that it would make the information available to admissions tutors for 2008 entry. The news led some critics to claim that Ucas was engaging in social engineering. Wendy Piatt, director-general of the Russell Group, said: "Information that helps to accurately identify potential and aptitude is welcome. But we are not convinced that this proposal provides that information." The Ucas board said the change was aimed at supporting efforts to widen participation.