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Habilitation (from Latin habilis "fit, proper, skillful") is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in many countries in Europe, Central Asia, Egypt and the Caucasus. Earned usually after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires that the candidate write a professorial thesis (or habilitation thesis) based on independent scholarship, reviewed by and defended before an academic committee in a process similar to that of the doctoral dissertation. However, the level of scholarship has to be considerably higher than that required for a research doctoral (PhD) thesis in terms of quality and quantity, and must be accomplished independently, in contrast with a PhD dissertation typically directed or guided by a faculty supervisor.

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