The Australian National University is still waiting for federal government approval for its planned charter flight of international students in the next couple of weeks.
The university wants the students here for the start of semester 2, which is July 27, for the ANU and August 2 for the University of Canberra.
The 350 students are expected to come from a range of countries, yet to be named. They will travel on a single charter flight, but the departure city and the date is yet to be determined. The universities are seeking expressions of interest among students that have already enrolled at the ANU or the University of Canberra.
The students will be held in Canberra hotels for a two-week quarantine and will be subject to the stricter quarantine rules announced by the national cabinet on Friday. That means they will have to agree to a coronavirus test within a couple of days of arrival, and also return a negative test before they will be allowed to leave the hotel after their quarantine.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the strengthened quarantine rules should give the community "even greater confidence".
"[The strong quarantine] should absolutely required whether you are an Australian returning from overseas or an international student under one of these pilot projects," he said. "That is absolutely fundamental to the process and to there being any ongoing programs. If the pilot doesn't work, there won't be any more."
With most coronavirus cases other than the community clusters in Melbourne still being diagnosed among overseas arrivals, the handling of quarantine has been an ongoing problem for the state and territory governments.
In Melbourne, some of the community clusters began with quarantine hotel guards getting infected. On Friday, Victorian authorities said 30 per cent of arrivals in quarantine had refused testing, a rate that is likely to have fed into the decision on Friday to make testing compulsory nationwide.
In Canberra, the students would not be allowed to leave their hotel room unless instructed by a government authority, the university says. ACT Policing would secure and monitor the accommodation.
At the end of the quarantine period the students will reintegrate into campuses and the community.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said international students would not be allowed back into Australia until universities had returned to face-to-face teaching and until state borders were open, saying both things were a prerequisite. He reiterated the requirement again on Friday. South Australia announced its borders would reopen on July 20. The Northern Territory reopens on July 17. Queensland is planning for July 10 but is yet to confirm, and Tasmania is considering July 24. Western Australia plans to keep its borders closed "for some time", Mr Barr said.