Australia's education minister is hopeful a trial for international students' return will go ahead this year despite coronavirus outbreaks derailing the plan.
South Australia has received federal approval to run a pilot program for a small number of students to return to Adelaide universities.
Education Minister Alan Tudge conceded coronavirus outbreaks of a contagious new variant in SA, NSW and Victoria had thrown plans off course.
"Clearly the major focus now is getting back on top of that Delta variant so we can open up the economy," he told Sky News on Wednesday.
"From my perspective I'd certainly like to see some of those pilots up and running later in the year if we can."
Mr Tudge said a decision on timing would be up to the SA government but stressed the importance of prioritising Australians' health.
The NSW government was planning to bring 250 students in a fortnight but Sydney's growing coronavirus outbreak appears to have scuppered those plans.
"Obviously given the lockdowns, that has been paused by the New South Wales government while they're prioritising other things," Mr Tudge said.
Closer to home, the minister said he would like school closures to remain proportionate while also noting the Delta strain appeared to infect more children.
"We do need to have in mind in terms of making these decisions the very significant impact that school closures can have," Mr Tudge said.
"Not only in terms of their learning but equally in terms of their mental health."
He raised only closing schools when cases were detected rather than wide-ranging shutdowns.
Australian Associated Press