* More women gained first-class degrees in 1999, but the gap grew between them and the men who dominate the top grade. Some 7.2 per cent of women attained a first-class degree in 1999, compared with 6.9 per cent in 1998. The figures for men were 8.6 per cent and 8.2 per cent. But women outperformed men in gaining upper second-class degrees: 46.3 per cent did so in 1999 compared with 37.8 per cent for men. Overall, 53 per cent of women and 46 per cent of men gained a first or upper second.