STUDENTS at an Oxford University college are raising a glass to pub customers who have helped fund their studies.

Profits from the Lamb and Flag in St Giles go towards scholarships for students at St John’s College, which owns the historic tavern.

Since the scheme started, Lamb and Flag scholarships have enabled 37 gifted students to study at St John’s.

The Lamb and Flag Scholarships are awarded to graduate students who are of outstanding academic excellence but have no other source of funding to pursue their doctorate degrees.

Students who are successful can study any course, all on full-time scholarships, and are offered about £20,000 per year to help with course fees as well as books, study and living expenses.

Jack Seddon is in the first year of his DPhil studies in global financial regulation and received the sponsorship this year.

The 28-year-old said: “It is fantastic the system they have got set up. It is getting more and more difficult to get funding and I wouldn’t be doing this without that funding. I’d like to thank the customers of the Lamb and Flag.

“The more people who sample the ales, the better.”

Jessica Fay is in her third and final year studying a DPhil in English literature, having received the funding in 2010.

The 25-year-old said: “I very much enjoy my course and I’m hoping to stay in academia. This sponsorship has enabled me to come to Oxford. I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. St John’s students tend to gather at the Lamb and Flag – it is a very friendly and cosy pub.”

St John’s College opened the Lamb and Flag Tavern beside the college in St Giles in 1695.

Named after the two symbols associated with St John the Baptist, the pub has served generations of students and professors, as well as writers and politicians, including former US President Bill Clinton.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was a regular during his days at St John’s in the 1970s.

In 1999, the college took over the running of the pub from Phipps Northampton Brewery Company and decided to put Dorset-based Palmers cask ales on the bar.

Sales of Palmers have now passed the third-of-a-million pint mark.

Since that time, all of the profits from every drink sold at the pub are put towards supporting student scholarships at St John’s.

The Lamb and Flag itself is enjoying a successful year, having been nominated for the city’s Pub of the Year title by the Oxford Campaign for Real Ale.