The remains of 41-year-old George Kojorjee, from Ghana, were found by hall of residence staff at Southampton University last month and the third-year maths student was buried in the city yesterday.
The Ghanian High Commission in London said that it had been suggested by some of his friends that Mr Kojorjee had been involved with a religious cult.
Hampshire police said: 'It appears he simply starved to death, but it is not clear why.'
A student friend of the dead man said Mr Kojorjee had appeared short of money. He ate frugally 'but no one had any inkling something like this would happen'.
The friend added: 'He was a very nice, ordinary guy but he liked his privacy and would usually eat alone in his room.'
Peter Reader, the university's press officer, said: 'We knew he was short of money. In his second year he was allowed to stay in hall, even though he could not pay. His death is something of a mystery. There is no doubt that he kept himself to himself and was a very private man.'
It said that the student had not approached the university for hardship money.
An inquest will be held in Southampton next week.