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Wednesday 03 April 2024

On Tuesday April 2, Xavier Quernin, UniLaSalle's disability delegate, received his knighthood in the Ordre National du Mérite from diplomat Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, France's ambassador to Mexico from 2020 to 2024. 

The award of this badge follows on from the impetus given by UniLaSalle 13 years ago, when it created a disability mission attached to the Educational Mission and Student Life department on the Beauvais campus.  At that time, Xavier Quernin was recruited as a Disability Officer and set up his position to serve students, working with the teaching teams to make courses, exams and field trips more accessible. Student and community life is also concerned by this accessibility, to guarantee a fulfilling social life. Today, this global inclusive dynamic is deployed on all four UniLaSalle campuses.

Xavier Quernin recevant l'ordre national du mérite des mains de Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, ancien ambassadeur de France au Mexique

Xavier Quernin receives the National Order of Merit from Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, former French Ambassador to Mexico. 


"This distinction honors the school and Lasallian values".

Philippe Choquet, UniLaSalle General Manager

A contagious ambition!

For over 10 years, the actions taken by UniLaSalle through its disability mission have both challenged and inspired the notion of inclusion in other academic structures. Co-responsible for the Handicap group of the Conférence des Grandes Ecole (CGE) for 10 years, then in charge of coordinating the association's Handicap advocacy since September 2023, and the CGE's first representative on the Conseil National Consultatif des Personnes Handicapées (2016-2023), Xavier Quernin works with his counterparts in other higher education establishments to achieve ever greater justice for students with disabilities. For him, "No disability should be an obstacle to pursuing higher education. And the choice of course should not be made on the basis of disability, but on the basis of "hanbition".



"Right from the start of my mission, I felt a real confidence from the management of LaSalle Beauvais at the time! I'm proud and happy to be part of this Lasallian family".

Xavier Quernin

Xavier Quernin et Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian

Xavier Quernin and Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian 

One of these major projects has been particularly influential. Indeed, international semesters are an unavoidable step for students who have chosen a path in higher education. The advocacy for the creation of an international status for students with disabilities (SIESH), spearheaded since 2017 by the CGE, 100% Handinamique and Thransition, was led by Xavier Quernin. At the same time, the drafting of an exploratory study on the international mobility of students with disabilities, for which Xavier Quernin had been mandated by the Government (2021), led to the appointment of the first disability referents in embassies (in Mexico City, Berlin and Lisbon), a "first" in French diplomacy. The presence of Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, former French ambassador to Mexico, is part of this development.

"Your commitment is also that of French diplomacy".

Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, former French ambassador to Mexico

Unwavering support

UniLaSalle's inclusive dynamic is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, and the "Inclusive University" funding plan of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (since November 2023).

To date, UniLaSalle has 9 corporate partners* of Mission Handicap. Three of them recently renewed their partnership agreement at the Paris International Agricultural Show. Their involvement contributes to supporting the training and professional integration of students with disabilities.


* TotalEnergies, MSA, Isagri, Avril, Ginger, Elior, Nestlé, NGPA, SUEZ and AGCO (coming soon). 

"Xavier embodies believing in everyone, whatever their particularity."

Bérénice Parcot, UniLaSalle student