Punishing a good deed? Denmark expels star Cameroonian student for working too much

Described by his university as the 'best we have', Marius Youbi has however been deported, despite a national petition in his support.

STAR student Marius Youbi on Friday flew home despondently to Cameroon after Denmark expelled him for working more than the stipulated weekly time.

Youbi, 30, a foreign undergraduate at the prestigious Aarhus University, was found to have worked 16-and-a-half hours on some weeks in his cleaning job. Danish law allows students from abroad to work part-time for a maximum of 15 hours in a week.

His defence that when taken over the year the hours did not go past the limit was not accepted by the Danish agency for recruitment and integration, which last month told him he must leave by January 8.

“I am sorry and disappointed,” he told Denmark’s DR, a public broadcaster. “This are four and a half-years gone up in smoke. I have made many friends here and I have family here. It is hard to say goodbye to so much.”

He said he had to the end hoped that he would be allowed to remain, “but it’s me who has made a mistake”. He is not sure if he will be allowed to transfer his credits to a university in Cameroon, and will remain in hope that Danish authorities have a change of heart.

The University of Yaounde was in a new ranking late last year ranked as among Africa’s top 30.

His university allowed him to seat his end of term examinations earlier than others when it was presented with the order for Youbi to leave. An electrical engineering student, he passed three test papers in one day, acing them with top marks.

An Aarhus professor described him as the “best we have” and the decision as “totally unfair”.

petition to stop his deportation has over 18,000 signatures. The Guardian said the campaign has described Youbi as a “very nice and talented guy, well liked by everyone who meets him.”

Youbi is said to have been working to meet his tuition fees of $6,700, in addition to living expenses.

Denmark has strengthened its stance on foreigners in recent years on the back of political pressure by far-right parties.

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