AN INCREASING number of students attracted by Japan's advanced technology are studying at Japanese Senshu-Gakko (special training schools) and the figure is expected to go up, according to the Japanese Ministry of Education. Japanese special training schools are institutions that teach vocational and practical techniques for about one to three years. Thirty per cent of overseas students, or 12,540 in number, studied at these special schools in 1991, ministry statistics show. The growing enrolment is also a national phenomenon, recording a total of 860,000 students in 1992. Special training schools offer three courses: upper secondary course, general course and college course. The upper secondary course (equivalent to upper secondary schools) is for lower secondary graduates while the general course is for anyone, regardless of educational background. The college course, offered by 'special training colleges' (equivalent to junior colleges and universities), are the most popular and are for upper secondary graduates. There are special schools in eight fields - agriculture, commerce, culture, domestic science, education and welfare, hygiene, industry and medicine. Non-Japanese speaking applicants need to take a six-month course at a Japanese language school to attain the language proficiency needed for the Senshu-Gakko, which teach in Japanese. Tibetan Tsering Deki, who is studying software science at the reputable Nippon Electronics College, said: 'The lessons are very interesting. Our daily curriculum takes about five hours and the school closes during weekends.' She advises foreign students to learn about the Japanese style of living before studying in the country. Some other special training schools or colleges of note include: Chiyoda Institute of Technology of Art, Chiyoda College of Business, International Hotel Restaurant College, Ohtsuka Textile Design Institute, Toiku Japanese Language School and ICT Institute of Japanese Language. Tuition (1992 figures) varies according to the courses. A two-year programme at Nippon Electronics College in Tokyo costs two million yen ($184,400). The two-year hotel course at the International Hotel Restaurant College costs 1.13 million yen (HK$123,000). At ICT Institute of Japanese Language, a two-year programme costs about the same. The Monbusho (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture) offers scholarships to foreign students. For enquiries, contact the Japanese Consulate-General at Exchange Square I, 46/F, Central.