China’s birth rate receives a bump every 12 years.

Chinese couples seize the opportunity to have a child born in the Year of the Dragon. In-vitro fertilization clinics become busy. Hospital delivery wards get slammed. Nannies double their hourly rates with pleasure.

The Chinese zodiac has 12 animal signs and the dragon is the only one that is a mythical creature. Considered the most auspicious, the Dragon sign brings strength and good luck. That’s why the state news agency Xinhua, expected China to receive a 5 percent jump in the number of babies born in 2012. In 2006, the year that the 1988 Dragon babies took the national college entrance exam, the number of applicants in Beijing rose by more than 10 per cent, to 110,000, while the college admission quota remained the same.

But current two-year-olds aren’t your concern. You need to prepare for the 2000-2001 cohort, which will be your Chinese applicant pool during the 2014-2015 admissions season. Of course, expect for that Chinese applicant pool to be much larger than in past years. Born when China’s one-child policy was still strictly enforced, these Chinese “tween” applicants are feeling the pressure of being only children in families with lofty expectations.

So don’t forget this friendly public service announcement when it’s mid-Winter and you feel like you’re wading through more Chinese applications than you ever have

 

What are you doing to prepare for this season’s larger-than-usual Chinese applicant pool? How you can use the Chinese zodiac, incoming Dragon kids, your older Chinese students, and the rest of the student body, to strengthen your school’s community? Have other thoughts?

Let me know in the comment section below!

 

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