By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

URBANA, Ill. (CBS/AP) — The University of Illinois is looking far for new students.

The U of I is opening an office in India to recruit undergrads and postgrads. The school is also hoping to build relationships with other academic institutions and corporations.

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India already is one of the top countries of origin for students at the University of Illinois System’s campuses, with 2,848 students between the universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield last fall.

That is more than from any foreign nation other than China, the system office said. More than 2,200 alumni also call India home.

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System President Tim Killeen said a new liaison office in the country will help drive growth for the University of Illinois.

“India has one of the world’s largest economies and it has grown rapidly, presenting an excellent opportunity for the U of I System to nurture our existing partnerships and develop new ones,” Killeen said.

The Board of Trustees voted Thursday to appoint a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Vivek Damle, to serve as the board’s representative in India. The liaison office will be located in New Delhi, and a branch office will be established in Bangalore.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBS 2 Chicago Staff