I think that there is a need for both. Life experience can lead you to a learning institution. For example, as a kid, maybe you enjoyed being outside and learning about the environment around you. So, you go to college and major in something like Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Science, or Natural Resources. Maybe, as a kid, you were fascinated by shows that focused on law and decided to go to school to become a lawyer. Or maybe you had a sibling that was addicted to drugs and died because of the addiction and so you went to school to become an addictions counsler. Even after getting an associates or bachelors degree, your life experiences can shape the rest of your life. You can decide to change paths or to continue doing what you have been doing.<br />
I realize that my response may not be exactly what you're looking for but I think that life experiences start as soon as you are born and influences your choices in life...including whether or not you go on to further your education.
life experience provides a wealth of practical skills and techniques. where academic knowledge teaches fundamentals recognized, upheld and championed by institutions of formal learning. the paper received in academia is a tool to be used to open doors of opportunity by those who recognize the knowledge and values of those academic institutions, a tool for you to use to achieve your own ob<x>jectives, goals and dreams. life experience is important to sustain balance and an open mind to the world around you. succeeding in academia isn't a waste of time. formal education will teach you methods of critical thinking and problem solving skills to apply to your everyday life (however abstract.)
i think we gain life experience whjile in learning institutions. lok back i'm sure something drastick or memroable happened in school to change or shape how you view the world positive or negative as well as you learned what people want you to know and be able to apply to life. most social edicate is learned there, how to share, be around others, what's apporprite.
Pick the learning institution. Trust me
Bit early for a mass debate I think !!!