Ayanda Masondo, 20, a second-year student in human resources from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, was found leaning against the door in her room, in the Benjemijn hostel, on Sunday morning.
Paramedics were called, but they pronounced her dead at the scene.
Brixton police station spokesman Constable Michael Kgatle said there would be a judicial inquiry into Masondo’s death.
“At this stage an illegal abortion would appear to be the reason for her death. There was a lot of blood at the scene,” Kgatle said.
UJ registrar Professor Marie Muller confirmed suicide had been ruled out as a possible cause of death.
According to Masondo’s friends, she had been ill for about a week before she died.
“She was such a quiet girl. We’re all incredibly upset by this,” a friend was quoted as saying.