A string of graft cases has hit the higher education sector in Hubei province, highlighting the lack of effective supervision over senior education officials, analysts say. In a high-profile scandal at Wuhan University, two senior staff members were formally arrested for taking bribes in connection with several campus construction projects, Xinhua reported yesterday. The report quoted unnamed sources from the People's Procuratorate of Hubei saying police had launched an investigation into deputy principal Chen Shaofang and deputy Communist Party boss Long Xiaole . It said the two had taken bribes of 'at least several million yuan' in relation to university infrastructure projects, but that the alleged corruption was not detected until police recently investigated one of the bribers. State media said the pair took bribes from several infrastructure projects, including a 1 billion yuan (HK$1.13 billion) investment to build a new branch campus. The province's propaganda mouthpiece, cnhubei.com, reported that nearly a dozen more mid-level university officials and businessmen were implicated in the graft scandal and more senior university officials could also be involved. The scandal was a hot topic among students on the university's internet message boards yesterday, with some complaining that the dormitories that were part of the investigation were poorly built and had large holes. Following hard on the heels of the Wuhan revelations was a second corruption scandal, as police detained the principal of Zhanjiang Normal University in Guangdong for alleged embezzlement of infrastructure funds and other revenues. Guo Zeshen was arrested on September 25, Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday. There have been widespread reports of corruption involving university staff and officials since the Ministry of Education began opening up the tertiary education system to market reforms in 1999. In Hubei alone, nearly one in three higher education institutions has been hit by corruption scandals, according to statistics from a Hubei education website, Znonline.net. It listed more than 26 principals or directors from 19 universities and colleges who had been arrested for taking bribes in the past 10 years. University staff quoted by state media blamed the pervasive corruption on a lack of effective anti-graft mechanisms. Most financial and supervisory power is concentrated in the hands of principals and Communist Party bosses. Universities were allowed to expand their enrolments massively from 1999. This has led to large-scale construction of new facilities or campuses, which have proved tempting targets for officials looking to skim a little off the top.