France's education minister has suspended the University of Toulon's president and two other administrators for allegedy trying to stymie an investigation into a cash-for-diplomas scandal involving Chinese students.

Valerie Pecresse said Monday that Laroussi Oueslati and the two others tried to block a ministry investigation into the affair using "pressure, intimidation's and threats."

Oueslati denies the allegations, saying the inquiry was not hindered, and calling the ministry's decision "unjust."

Newspaper Le Monde reported in May that students could buy diplomas at the university in southern France for around $3,600 in an alleged scam that the daily said started four years ago and involved several hundred Chinese students.