Not that you can't do plenty with VB on proprietary systems, but if you encourage your course director towards Pascal, and tell her that VB encourages sloppy coding <!swipe!>, you'll learn more about programming but be able to apply less *initially*.
Recommend she reads a book or three like -
Programming Language Choice
, Mark Woodman (1996), Computing Department, Open University, Thomson Press. ISBN 1-85032-186-8
This tackles the exact question of what to teach university students and what not to teach. It doesn't cover Java but it covers everything else.
As a broad summary, if it has good supprt for abstract data types (ADT), then it's a candidate for teaching programming concepts.
p.s. mention ADT to a VB programmer and they turn funny colours and fall over